Uber agrees on settlement with family of woman killed by autonomous car

Details of the settlement have not been shared.

Uber has managed to avoid a legal battle with the family of the woman killed by an Uber self-driving vehicle in Arizona, with both parties agreeing to a settlement.

Details of the settlement between the daughter and husband of Elaine Herzberg have not been disclosed but Cristina Perez Hesano, the attorney with the firm of Bellah Perez in Glendale said: “the matter has been resolved”.

The fatality took place in March when an autonomous Uber car killed Elaine Herzberg, 49, when she was walking outside of the crosswalk in Arizona.

“Some incredibly sad news out of Arizona. We’re thinking of the victim’s family as we work with local law enforcement to understand what happened,” tweeted Dara Khosrowshahi, Uber’s CEO.

Uber has been testing its autonomous vehicles in several US states, which have all been paused on public roads.

“The robot cars cannot accurately predict human behaviour, and the real problem comes in the interaction between humans and the robot vehicles,” said John M Simpson, privacy and technology project director with a Consumer Watchdog.

Toyota Motor Corp (NYSE: TM) and chipmaker Nvidia Corp (NASDAQ: NVDA) also ended self-driving testing on public roads after Uber’s incident.

Toyota North America Chief Executive Jim Lentz said Toyota soon plan to resume testing and the risks were affecting progress.

“There will be mistakes from vehicles, from systems, and a hundred or 500 or a thousand people could lose their lives in accidents like we’ve seen in Arizona,” he said.

“The big question for government is: How much risk are they willing to take? If you can save net 34,000 lives, are you willing to potentially have 10 or 100 or 500 or 1,000 people die?” he added. “And I think the answer to that today is they are not willing to take that risk – and that’s going to really slow down the adoption of autonomous driving.”