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Los Angeles Law Blog

By John Kristensen of Kristensen, LLP posted in Product Liability on Tuesday, March 20, 2018.
Uber’s  Testing of Autonomous Vehicle Kills 49-year Old Woman

Uber’s recent testing of its own autonomous vehicle recently killed a 49-year old woman. While Arizona may be a common area for testing autonomous vehicles, this is the first death involving such a vehicle.

On Sunday evening of March 18, 2018, Elaine Herberg was walking her bicycle across the street when she was struck and killed by a self-driving Uber SUV. Uber has issued a statement on Twitter, offering condolences to the victim’s family and friends, but “thinking of the victim’s family” is simply not enough, especially when Uber claims these types of vehicles are safe.

Uber and other operators of autonomous vehicles repeatedly suggest their vehicles are foolproof and no one will be injured. Until faucets in bathrooms automatically go off when people manically wave their hands in front of them, there needs to be diligent oversight and regulation regarding vehicles that can maim and kill people, even at low and medium speeds. Unfortunately, this accident was entirely predictable, as it was only a matter of time when an unmanned vehicle would cause an injury on a busy street.

As cars and systems become more complicated, people need seasoned product liability lawyers. John Kristensen was the youngest attorney appointed to the “Toyota Sudden Acceleration” cases and has been involved in litigating complex and catastrophic liability cases since 2003. If you and/or anyone else has been injured by an autonomous vehicle, please contact us at your convenience: or call us at (310)507-7924.