This week Uber found out that it will not face criminal charges in Arizona relating to the death of a pedestrian.
Last year March, Elaine Herzberg was killed by an autonomous vehicle operated by Uber when she was crossing a multi-lane road in Tempe, Arizona.
The firm never faced legal action from Herzberg’s family because it settled the matter with the family out of court.
Now, an Arizona prosecutor has announced that charges will not be brought against Uber for the death of the pedestrian.
“After a very thorough review of all evidence presented, this office has determined that there is no basis for criminal liability for the Uber corporation,” Yavapai County attorney, Sheila Sullivan Polk wrote in a letter.
However, the attorney does recommend that the matter be taken up by the Tempe Police Department to “obtain additional evidence”. The reason for this recommendation comes because the video footage that showed the accident doesn’t fully depict what happened. The attorney therefore recommends an expert be brought in to analyse the video footage to determine when and what the driver would have seen that night.
And that leads into a point which Ars Technica raises, the driver of the vehicle (or rather the person behind the wheel of the car driving itself) Rafael Vasquez, could face criminal charges.
At the time of the incident, video footage from inside the cabin showed Vasquez looking down at her lap. Following the incident it was discovered that the driver had been watching The Voice while the vehicle was in motion.
It seems as if Uber will not be facing any consequences for the incident. The semantics are neither here nor there, an autonomous vehicle which was being tested killed a person and the company that put that car on the road is not facing criminal charges.
Of course, the Tempe police could still find something but as it stands it appears as if Uber won’t face the brunt of the law.