Uber, the ridesharing company that comes to mind whenever someone wants to call a “cab” these days, has reportedly offered a confidential settlement amount to the family of an Arizona woman who was fatally hit by a self-driving Uber in March 2018.
In released dash-cam footage, the autonomous vehicle can be seen driving down a Tempe street late in the night with poor visibility when the pedestrian appears out of the darkness to the left. Initially, it was not clear how liability for the pedestrian accident would be assigned, as it seemed as if the woman was jaywalking and not checking for cross traffic at the time of the crash. Yet Uber’s willingness to come up with a settlement amount, and in such a short amount of time, seems to indicate the company understands or accepts its own liability for what happened, especially given accusations that it shut down autonomous driving safety features in the car.
The companies that manufactured the crash detection software and systems for the self-driving Volvo involved in the crash were quick to shield themselves for any blame in fatal Tempe accident. According to statements from Aptiv PLC and Mobileye, Uber had shut off the advanced driver-assistance system’s crash avoidance technologies. When the vehicle detected the pedestrian in the road, it could not take any automated measures to brake or steer away since the system was disabled.
There is also the issue of the inaction of the Uber’s safety driver. In order to help prevent accidents such as the one in Tempe, Uber assigns safety drivers to each autonomous vehicle, who is tasked with taking control of the car in emergencies. Footage from the interior of the Uber shows the safety driver not looking at the road before the fatal accident, which could put more liability on the ridesharing company.
The settlement offer from Uber is significant in that it underlines the ridesharing company’s liability for the accident, which may then be considered in similar future cases. If you or a loved one are hurt by an autonomous vehicle, then it is important for you to realize you have rights as a wrongfully injured party and that there are ways to seek compensation. Come to The Pittman Firm, P.A. and talk to a Florida personal injury lawyer with more than 30 years of experience managing personal injury claims: Wes Pittman. Using his guidance and representation, you will have the ability to take on any opposition, even if a major corporation is liable for your damages.
Call (850) 764-0383 to contact his firm and begin your case with a free initial consultation.