A crash in March of 2018 involving one of Uber's self-driving cars resulted in the death of Elaine Herzberg, age 49. At the time of the accident, Herzberg was walking a bicycle across a street at night in the city of Tempe, Arizona. The self-driving vehicle had a backup driver whose job it is to take control of the car in case of an emergency. However, instead of watching for pedestrians or other issues, the backup driver was watching a television show, "The Voice," on her personal cell phone at the time.
These types of accidents are likely to become all too common as the new self-driving vehicles take to the road. When a company such as Uber decides to test its new technology on the roads, putting others at risk, it and other companies should be held responsible for the injuries suffered by innocent victims.
Problems with the Software
According to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), more must be done to regulate the use of automated driving systems. As of now, there is a significant lack of federal safety standards and regulations concerning this emerging technology. As a result, there is often a culture of simply testing it out on the streets before it is necessarily ready for the busy road.
According to the NTSB, Uber decided upon certain development choices that caused the accident. The software that runs the autonomous car did not properly identify Herzberg as a pedestrian, which led to the crash. It also did not address the back-up driver's "complacency," meaning there was no way to know if the back-up driver was paying attention. The software even disabled the Volvo vehicle's automatic emergency braking system, a system that may have prevented the fatal accident.
Personal Injury and Wrongful Death Lawsuits in Denver
When accidents like this occur with self-driving vehicles or vehicles driven by an actual person, the injuries that result can be life-altering. The pain and suffering a person will go through, as well as the high financial costs of medical bills, treatment, and rehabilitation, can make that suffering worse.
A personal injury lawsuit—or in the case of a person's death, a wrongful death lawsuit—can help to compensate you and your family following this type of accident. This can help you to heal by paying for your costs and reimbursing you for things like lost time off work, pain and suffering, hospital bills, and much more.
Consult an Experienced Denver Auto Accident Attorney
Accidents involving rideshare companies, autonomous vehicles, and other motor vehicle collisions can lead to very serious injury or even death. You and your family should not be responsible for the costs of an accident that was not your fault. You can hold the person responsible accident liable for the costs you have suffered.
If you or a loved one has been injured in any sort of motor vehicle accident in the greater Denver metropolitan area, please do not hesitate to contact us today at 303-642-8888 for a free consultation. We are here waiting for you.