In lieu of a potentially costly legal battle, the family of the woman who was killed by a self-driving Uber test vehicle has settled with the company. The death of Elaine Herzberg, 49, was the first fatality of self-driving cars and represents a landmark case.
An attorney named Cristina Perez Hesano of the firm of Bellah Perez said "the matter has been resolved" between the family and the ride company. Herzberg is survived by her daughter and husband who agreed to the settlement but the exact terms are unknown.
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In wake of the accident, the Governor of Arizona has barred Uber from continuing their self-driving tests in the state. The company voluntarily ceased all self-driving testing on public roads including in California. The technology represents a safer future where automobiles outperform humans but it appears the path to perfecting the technology will leave bodies along the way.
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The accident occurred around 10 p.m. on March 17 and since then the Tempe police have released video of the crash from cameras on board the test vehicle. The footage shows the driver looking down at their phone and glancing up occasionally. The last time the driver glances up she instantly displays a facial expression of shock.
The front-facing cameras show a dimly lit figure in the distance which really only becomes visible when the bicycle and Herzberg are only feet away from the vehicle because of poor lighting. Even though, the vehicle's LIDAR technology that utilizes laser radar should have registered that Herzberg was in its path.
Herzberg was walking across a divided four-lane road and not in a crosswalk when she was hit by the Uber. The accident has prompted an investigation and so far Tempe police have confirmed the vehicle was in autonomous mode when Herzberg was struck. Nvidia has come forward to distance themselves from the company and reaffirm that Uber does not use their self-driving platform.
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