Two different groups composed of family members of the woman killed earlier this month by one of Uber’s self-driving test vehicles have now hired lawyers in relation to the event, according to reports.
To be more specific, a group composed of the father, mother, and son of the woman who was killed (Elaine Herzberg) have now hired lawyers; and a group composed of the daughter and husband of the woman hired lawyers earlier and reportedly came to a settlement with the firm already.
So, it appears that depending upon the intent of this new group of family members, Uber may still have a public legal battle on its hand, following from the earlier auto collision and fatality that has gotten so much press.
The lawyer for the new group of family members is reportedly the Phoenix-based attorney Patrick McGroder. Commenting on the case, McGroder stated simply: “We are in the initial stages of investigation.”
Reuters provides more: “Uber has suspended its testing in the wake of the incident. Toyota Motor Corp and chipmaker Nvidia Corp have also suspended self-driving testing on public roads, as they and others await the results of investigations into the Tempe accident, believed to be the first death of a pedestrian struck by a self-driving vehicle.”
“The March 18 fatality near downtown Tempe also presents an unprecedented liability challenge because self-driving vehicles, which are still in the development stage, involve a complex system of hardware and software often made by outside suppliers. Herzberg was pushing a bicycle while walking across a four-lane road outside a crosswalk when she was struck. Video footage from a dash-mounted camera inside the vehicle, released by Tempe police, showed the SUV traveling along a dark street when the headlights suddenly illuminated Herzberg in front of the SUV. Other footage showed that in the seconds before the accident, the human safety driver behind the wheel was mostly looking down, not at the road.”
That is, the safety driver was fiddling with a phone rather than ensuring that someone wasn’t run over.
Also noteworthy here is that, by the accounts of many locals, the video footage appears to have been altered — as the section or road in question is apparently quite well lit (as attested by numerous videos that have been posted by local residents).
Accompanying that reality is that fact that Uber apparently reduced the number of LiDAR sensors being used in its test vehicles from 7 to 1 in 2016, and thereby created a large “blind zone” around the car according to ex-employees and industry specialists.
Here’s more Uber news on CleanTechnica: