The fallout from the fatal accident involving one of Uber’s autonomous vehicles continues as the daughter of the victim has retain a lawyer in preparations for what will likely become a landmark case for autonomous vehicles.
In a statement, the law firm of Bellah Perez, PLLC confirmed the daughter of Elaine Herzberg has chosen the law firm to pursue legal action against the company. The firm didn’t discuss specifics of the case but Cristina Perez Hesano said Arizona has encouraged companies to test their autonomous vehicles in the state so the firm feels a “special responsibility to represent this case as it directly impacts our fellow Arizonans sharing the road with these machines.”
While the case has wider implications, the law firm says it is “fundamentally about a woman who lost her mother and wants to understand why.” The firm also acknowledged the accident has “sparked a national debate about the safety of self-driving cars, exposing the technology’s blind spots and raising questions of liability.”
The news comes hot on the heels of the release of accident footage which appears to contradict claims that Herzberg suddenly stepped in front of the Volvo XC90. As Reuters notes, the homeless woman has walking her bike across a divided four-lane road and managed to get to the far right lane before being hit. The footage also revealed the car’s safety driver took their eyes off the road a few seconds before the crash.
The failure of both the autonomous driving system and the safety driver is disappointing, to say the least, and it now appears these failures could cost the company significantly.