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Uber crash victim's family settles lawsuit

Uber crash victim's family settles lawsuit

by Ben Hsu

Uber escapes litigation and the case remains sealed.

The family of the woman killed by an Uber vehicle conducting autonomous driving tests has settled the lawsuit against the company. The settlement staves off likely heavily scrutinized and damaging litigation involving the future of self-driving cars.

As Reuters reports, the settlement's terms have not been released, nor have the names of the family members. The family's attorney, Cristina Perez Hesano said "the matter has been resolved.”

Elaine Herzberg, 49, was killed on the night of March 18 when an Uber SUV undergoing autonomous testing stuck her as she crossed the street in Tempe, Arizona. The Uber car had a human tester behind the wheel, but in car footage moments before the crash appear to show the driver looking down rather than at the road.

Since the crash other companies like Toyota and chip maker Nvidia have put a hiatus on their testing.

The settlement allows Uber, and the industry in general, to avoid litigation that had the potential to set legal precedence regarding who is truly at fault in the event of an autonomous car crash. The result would have had far reaching consequences for the future of autonomous technology.

Arizona governor Doug Ducey suspended autonomous car testing following the incident. However, having welcomed Uber to Arizona, touting his state's regulation-free environment, after it met with multiple complications during testing in California, Ducey will still have to contend with the public's mistrust of self-driving cars.