Last year, one of Uber’s self-driving cars hit and killed a woman who was crossing a Tempe road. The car had a driver in it who was supposed to stop the vehicle in an emergency, but she did not do so.
The case raised a lot of interesting questions. Self-driving cars are still a very new technology. What would it mean for the future of the industry? Would Uber be liable? Would the driver? How would it all play out?
We now have some answers, as Uber has been cleared of criminal wrongdoing.
The Yavapai County Attorney’s Office, which handled the case, recently put out a statement that read in part: “There is no basis for criminal liability for the Uber corporation arising from this matter.”
The Yavapai County Attorney’s Office was involved because the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office had previously worked with Uber. That was viewed as a possible conflict of interest, so the case was moved to avoid it.
It is still possible that the driver will face criminal charges even though the company will not. That decision will be made by the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office at a later date.
Of course, a lack of criminal charges does not mean that no legal action can be taken. The family of the person killed in this crash has already made it clear that they want to sue for $10 million, and civil compensation can still be granted even in the absence of criminal charges. That is why it’s important for anyone who has lost a loved one in a car accident to know what legal options they have.