On the night of March 18, 2018, a 49-year-old woman named Elaine Herzberg was struck by one of Uber’s autonomous cars in Tempe, Arizona. Elaine was walking her bicycle across the street when she was struck by the car and died as a result of this incident. This is believed to be the first pedestrian death associated with self-driving vehicles.
The car was a Volvo XC90 sport utility vehicle that contained Uber’s sensor system which was in autonomous mode when it struck Elaine. However, there was a safety back up driver behind the wheel and no passengers in the car. The car was going about 40 miles per hour in a 45 m.p.h. zone when it struck Elaine. Investigators reported that it seems as though the car did not slow down before striking Elaine, but it is not clear yet whether the vehicle was at fault in the accident.
Self-driving technology is still in its experimental stages. Uber’s self-driving program originated in Pittsburgh in 2016 and extended to Tempe a few months later. Tempe is considered an ideal place to test self-driving technology because of its dry weather and wide roads. Arizona has attracted many companies like Uber to the state to test their autonomous systems by offering minimal regulation and oversight. Following Sunday’s crash, Uber has suspended testing of its self-driving program in Tempe as well as in three other cities.
If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of an accident, the experienced lawyers at the law firm of Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner can assist with your claim. Call us today at 713-396-3964 or 800-594-4884 for your free consultation.