Bryant Walker Smith, a University of South Carolina law professor whose research focuses on automated driving systems, suggests not reading too much into the prosecutor's letter.
"It's not necessarily exculpatory — it doesn't exonerate Uber or put the company's conduct then or now beyond criticism," he writes in an email to NPR. "And I'm not sure it tells us much about the criminal, much less civil, liability of automated driving developers in future incidents."
Smith says he hopes the NTSB's final report on the crash will illuminate more about the crash. "And I would still like to see Uber publicly apologize and explain what specifically went wrong," he says. "Companies should earn our trust in part by being candid about their failures as well as their successes."
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