Who can be held liable when an autonomous vehicle strikes and kills a pedestrian?
This legal question came to the fore this week when an autonomous Uber car struck and killed a pedestrian in Tempe, Arizona, just outside of Phoenix.
Liability for the women’s death is at issue.
Tempe Police said the vehicle was in self-driving mode with a driver behind the wheel at 10 PM time when it struck a woman who was crossing the road outside a crosswalk. Elaine Herzberg, 49, of Mesa was transported to a local hospital where she died from injuries suffered in the mishap.
Uber Technologies Inc. said in a statement that “our hearts go out to the victim’s family. We’re fully cooperating with Tempe police and local authorities as they investigate this accident.”
In light of the tragedy, Uber announced that it is suspending autonomous vehicle testing in Tempe, San Francisco, and other cities.