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Woman Hit and Killed by Car Using Autonomous Technology

Apr 24, 2018

Who is responsible when autonomous technology in cars kill pedestrians?

“Volvo. For life.” That slogan may have felt far from the truth for the surviving family members of one Arizona woman who was reportedly run over and killed by a “self- driving Volvo SUV equipped with Uber autonomous technology” as she walked her bike across the street one recent evening. The disturbing and gruesome death was captured on the self-driving Uber’s dash cam video and gained widespread exposure after going viral on social media.

Not only was the human driver seemingly unaware of the woman until after the impact, but the crash video apparently also indicates that the vehicle “never braked or took any evasive action even though lasers, radar, cameras, and sensors should have easily spotted the woman and automatically applied the brakes”. Afterward, the governor referred to the incident as an “unquestionable failure” and indefinitely suspended Uber’s ability to test self-driving vehicles in the state. The woman’s surviving family has reportedly retained an attorney and is expected to commence legal action for damages.

Auto recalls happen when a part or system of a vehicle is found to be dangerous or defective. Sometimes automakers voluntarily recall vehicles when multiple complaints are received about a particular problem after an initial investigation. Other times the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (“NHTSA”) will order an auto recall after its own investigation. As autonomous vehicles from all auto makers come into widespread use, it is conceivable that tragedies that result from the apparent failure of safety features in vehicles will spark future auto recalls.

Here, it was a Volvo that was reportedly equipped with Uber self-driving technology which has given the automaker’s generally good reputation some possible tarnish.

If you have questions regarding an auto recall, a breach of warranty claim, or if think you might be driving a “lemon” because your relatively new vehicle is constantly in the shop for the same stubborn problem, the Law Offices of Timothy Abeel & Associates can help you.

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