Family of woman killed by self-driving Uber reaches settlement

Randal Sanchez
March 30, 2018

The details of the settlement were not made public.

Cristina Perez Hesano, an attorney in Glendale, Ariz., told Reuters that "the matter has been resolved" with Elaine Herzberg's daughter and husband.

Gov. Ducey-who once wrote in a December 2016 statement that "Arizona welcomes Uber self-driving cars with open arms and wide open roads"-now faces scrutiny about exactly how close he was to Uber". By contrast, California requests companies to submit detailed testing data, such as vehicle accidents, routes and frequencies of intervention by safety drivers.

The fallout from the accident could stall the development and testing of self-driving vehicles, created to eventually perform far better than human drivers and to sharply reduce the number of motor vehicle fatalities that occur each year.

The fact that some experts have come out and stated that Uber's autonomous vehicle should've have been able to avoid the incident doesn't bode well for the company's tech, either. Toyota Motor Corp and chipmaker Nvidia Corp have also suspended self-driving auto testing on public roads, as they and other companies await the results of an investigation into the Tempe incident, believed to be the first death of a pedestrian struck by a self-driving vehicle.

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An Uber spokesman, Matt Kallman, said the departure was unrelated to the crash in Tempe, but he would not elaborate on why Mr. Ron had left or the timing of his exit.

On March 21, Tempe police released a 22-second video showing Herzberg walking from a darkened area onto a street just before an Uber SUV strikes her.

California's Department of Motor Vehicles also sent Uber's public affairs manager Austin Heyworth a letter on March 27 stating Uber will not be allowed to test its autonomous vehicles on roads in the state as of March 31, because of not renewing the permit.

Nvidia's chief executive, Jensen Huang, said Uber does not use the chipmaker's self-driving platform architecture.

The incident comes as Uber, which has invested heavily in self-driving technology, tries to rebuild a reputation marred by scandals involving data breaches and a toxic workplace culture. "Uber develops its own sensing and drive technology", said Huang in response to a question thrown at him during the final day of Nvidia's GPU conference in San Jose, California. Every improving technology occasionally lets us down, sometimes with deadly consequences. It also used seven cameras versus the Ford which has twenty.

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