Uber has reportedly reached a settlement deal with the family of the victim that was killed by a self-driving car in Arizona. According to Reuters, Uber Technologies Inc. apparently dodged a big legal bullet by settling the case outside of the courts. If the family were to pursue a case, it could have been a huge and expensive legal battle for the company seeing as that it was the world’s first autonomous car crash that claimed the life of a pedestrian.
The incident that happened a week ago instantly became viral as two videos of the crash were uploaded online. The first video showed the autonomous Uber hitting Elain Herzberg as she was walking across the road with her bicycle in tow. The second video showed a distracted safety operator reacting in shock as the vehicle hit the pedestrian. The 49-year-old Arizona resident eventually died from her injuries after being hit by the large SUV, which should have been able to spot her, in the Phoenix suburb of Tempe.
Uber’s attorney, Cristina Perez Hesano, recently released a statement, which clarified that the case involving the victim’s family has already been resolved. The company reportedly reached a settlement with the victim’s husband and her daughter. The terms of the settlement have not been disclosed. The family’s lawyers have also announced that they will no longer be commenting on the issue as the matter has already been resolved by both parties. The names of Herzberg’s husband and her daughter have also reportedly been kept off the record as per their request.
As reported by the National Public Radio, Uber took immediate action after the incident and suspended all of the ongoing tests on its autonomous fleet in Arizona, San Francisco, Pittsburgh, and Toronto. The company also expressed its intent to fully cooperate with authorities and federal officials in investigating the cause of the freak accident. Arizona Governor Doug Ducey also ordered the Department of Transportation to immediately suspend all autonomous vehicle tests on public roadways within the state.
Toyota and chipmaker Nvidia have also followed suit and announced that they will immediately be halting their self-driving technology tests on public roads. Both companies, along with other technology firms involved in the development of self-driving vehicles, have stated that they will be waiting for the results of the recent incident’s investigation before they decide to continue their public tests and experiments.