Self-Driving Uber Car Kills Pedestrian

Nov 13, 2018

Todd J. Leonard, Esq.

Denville, NJ (Law Firm Newswire) November 13, 2018 – A woman was struck and tragically killed while crossing a roadway in Arizona by a self-driving Uber vehicle. The accident occurred on March 18, 2018. It is believed that this incident is the first of its kind where a pedestrian was killed by an autonomous vehicle.

The Uber vehicle was travelling approximately 40 miles-an-hour along a stretch of road with a 45 mile-an-hour speed limit. The vehicle had a human safety driver behind the wheel. The 49-year-old pedestrian was struck while walking her bicycle across the street.

Police officers were able to obtain dash-cam video from both the front of the car, as well as the interior of the vehicle. The video from the interior of the car showed the safety driver not looking ahead, but down at his hands. The safety driver’s hands were not on the wheel at the time of the impact, which is against Uber’s policy. Uber requires all safety drivers to have their hands on the wheel in order to take control of the vehicle if necessary.

Despite the negligence of the safety driver, the autonomous car should have sensed the pedestrian and stopped. The sensors installed on the vehicle were designed to be able to see objects on the roadway hundreds of feet in advance, day or night.

After examining the car, Uber was able to determine what went wrong with the sensors. According to Uber, the car’s sensors detected the woman, but the computer determined it was a “false positive” reading and it did not swerve out of the way.

After the crash, Uber immediately suspended the testing of its self-driving vehicles on all public roads. Uber has yet to allow these vehicles to be driven autonomously on the roads and highways in the United States.

Attorney Todd J. Leonard stated that, “Although this case seems to be an anomaly, we will probably see more cases like this in the future when self-driving cars become used more and more. While the concept of autonomously operated vehicles is very interesting, there has to be adequate safeguards in place to protect the public at all times.”

After an Uber or Lyft car accident, please do not hesitate to contact the experienced New Jersey Uber/Lyft Accident lawyers at the Todd J. Leonard Law Firm at (973) 920-7900. There is never a fee unless the case is won.

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Todd J. Leonard
Todd J. Leonard Law Firm
3010 Route 10 West
Denville, NJ 07834
Phone: 973.920.7900