Google, Ford & Uber launch coalition for self driving cars

Google, Ford and Uber are forming a coalition to push the self-driving car faster to market. According to a report by Reuters, the companies have said that they want to push for federal action together.

Other companies involved in the coalition are Swedish-based Volvo Cars, owned by China’s Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co GEELY.UL, and Uber rival Lyft. The official name of the united initiative is the Self-Driving Coalition for Safer Streets. The group said in a statement it will “work with lawmakers, regulators and the public to realize the safety and societal benefits of self-driving vehicles.”

Guidance

The coalition said David Strickland, former top official at the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), will be the coalition’s council and spokesman. NHTSA is the top U.S. auto safety agency, and has been writing new guidance on self-driving cars.

“What people are looking for is clear rules on what needs to be done for (fully autonomous) vehicles to be on the road,” Strickland said in an interview with Reuters on Tuesday, emphasizing that the companies want to deploy these rules safely. “Nobody wants to take a shortcut on this.”

Strickland advised Google on self-driving car issues. He said the group is not just about lobbying lawmakers or regulators. “It is a full policy and messaging campaign and movement.”

Fatalities

32,675 fatalities and 2.3 million were injured in 6.1 million crashes that were reported on U.S. roads in 2014. Recent research stated that about 94 percent of all traffic crashes are caused by human error. Ford said in a statement that the group will “work together to advocate for policy solutions that will support the deployment of fully autonomous vehicles.” The coalition aims to release its guidance to states, policymakers and companies on self-driving vehicles in July.

The five companies, all of which are working on self-driving cars, told Reuters that one of the group’s first tasks is to “work with civic organizations, municipalities and businesses to bring the vision of self-driving vehicles to America’s roads and highways.”

Author: Lars Verpalen

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