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Family of Uber victim Herzberg suing Doug Ducey, AZ governor

Accepted submission by at 2019-03-11 10:39:49 from the darn-it--someone-must-take-the-blame dept.

Uber's self driving car program in AZ isn't out of the woods yet. The Phoenix New Times [] reported last month that lawyers representing family of Uber victim Herzberg have sued the state of AZ for $10M, fingering Governor Ducey for failing to protect the people of his state.

After quoting legal precedent about the state's responsibility to keep roadways "reasonably safe" for travelers, the claim says the state has "failed to make roadways safe, allowing autonomous vehicles to operate on public roadways in an unsafe manner."

The state's oversight of autonomous vehicles was negligent, it states, adding that Ducey's 2015 executive order facilitating the testing of self-driving vehicles was created "negligently and without sufficient investigation into the safety of Uber's autonomous vehicles. Any oversight provided by a committed, ADOT, or DPS, was wholly insufficient, and placed an unreasonably high risk of harm to the citizens of Arizona."

The claim goes on to quote Ducey's 2016 invitation to Uber, in which the governor quipped that "California put the brakes on innovation and change," but he wouldn't. "This rush to be first in the 'tech boom' era made Arizona's roadways unreasonably dangerous," the claim states.

New Times made a similar argument that Ducey was at least partially responsible for Herzberg's death in the April 12 cover story, "Ducey's Drive-By: How Arizona Governor Helped Cause Uber's Fatal Self-Driving Car Crash."

Last time Gov. Ducey appeared here on SN was back on December 03 2016, [] He announced that Lucid would start making cars in a new plant in 2018. Looks like he missed that prediction --

Officials from electric vehicle startup Lucid Motors, which broke cover from stealth mode in October [], made a joint appearance today with Arizona Governor Doug Ducey and Sonora, Mexico's Governor Claudia Pavlovich Arellano, to announce a manufacturing plant in Casa Grande, Arizona. The plant will begin production of Lucid's first car, an electric luxury sedan, in 2018, with parts being supplied from across the border in Sonora, Mexico.

        Governor Ducey said the new plant will create 2,000 jobs by 2022 [], and that Lucid Motors has promised to prioritize hiring among Arizona veterans.

        Lucid Motors has shown a very sophisticated operation for its entry as a new automaker, with its Chief Technology Officer, Peter Rawlinson, an alumni of Tesla and Lotus, and Vice President of Design Derek Jenkins having spent time at Mazda and Volkswagen. The as-yet unnamed first model will compete with the Tesla Model S as a luxury sedan, and should boast over 300 miles of range. Lucid has also designed connected features and self-driving capability into this car.

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