Uber was testing out its new self-driving vehicles in Arizona, with a human emergency driver still in the vehicle, when the car slammed into a woman pushing a bike across the street at night. Tragically, that woman was killed.
Uber and the woman’s family have now agreed to a settlement. The company has not released any financial details to show how much was paid out.
Though a driver was in the car, video showing the accident reveals that the emergency driver appeared to be glancing down when the wreck occurred. The woman with her bike is visible in the light from the vehicle’s headlights at the last second.
The accident is something of a milestone. Self-driving cars have been involved in accidents before, but this is thought to be the first time that a person has passed away as a result. It was viewed as quite a setback for Uber as the company tries to make the move to autonomous vehicles. Other tests all around the United States were put on hold while the investigation plays out.
The fact that Uber settled, rather than going to court, is significant. There are many questions about self-driving cars and liability in accidents. An Arizona court could have made the first ruling after a deadly wreck, setting a precedent, but now that will not happen. The questions remain for the time being.
Any time a person is killed or seriously injured, it is important for those involved to know all of their legal rights, especially in cases involving cutting-edge technology and breaking new legal ground.
Source: Fortune, “Uber Settles With Family of Victim Killed in Self-Driving Car Accident,” Jonathan Vanian, March 29, 2018