Interestingly there was an article saying that they had cleared Uber of any criminal liability. So they're not liable but their employee while acting within the scope of his/her duties is
I guess from a legal standpoint a company cannot be held criminally liable anyway because it can't serve jail time but then it would be stupid to come out and say that because they never would be.
Will be an interesting case to follow though because of how it might affect future autonomous car accidents as they're holding the "driver" at fault for a series of errors. I don't disagree that they were negligent but I'm not sure they were criminally negligent given the circumstances. In order for criminal negligence they would have to prove that a reasonable person would have thought it was so dangerous that it would result in harm or death of someone. It comes down to how attentive do you need to be when the vehicle is doing the driving which would depend on Uber's policies. I'm going to guess based on the nice camera feeds we have of the incident that Uber was aware or should have been aware that at least one if not some of their safety drivers weren't giving their 100% attention all the time and were lax about it.
I'm really torn here between "you had one job" and the fact that 1) someone was crossing a two lane street in the middle of the night not in a crosswalk between the streetlights wearing a black shirt / jacket and no reflective material whatsoever on the side of the bike or their clothing. 2) the car is supposed to detect pedestrians and stop and it didn't for whatever reason. So I feel like at best they are 33% liable in this situation and they were at the tail end of 2 other wrongs. The best analogy I can think of is a driver's ed teacher failing to hit their emergency second brake because they were looking down at their clipboard while the driver plowed into someone. Would you charge the teacher? Especially given the worst possible conditions for a pedestrian to be crossing the road in an unmarked crossing? Then given that the driver is robocop and presumably has a host of sensors that give it the advantage over a human that should have picked up the pedestrian?