Google, Ford, Uber and Lyft form driverless cars coalition

A group of technology firms, car manufacturers and service providers have joined forces to help make driverless cars a reality.

The Self- Driving Coalition for Safer Streets, which includes Google, Ford, Volvo, Uber and Lyft will attempt to help shape the regulations and laws needed for the cars to hit the roads. They will present these ideas to governments in the hope such vehicles will be able to drive on public highways sooner and communicate the benefits of driverless cars to the public.

Former US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration official David Strickland will be the group's counsel and spokesman, providing information on the safety issues involved and advising the group how they should be tackling the public and government's doubts.

At present, some US states have ruled automated vehicles that don't have common car components, such as steering wheels, pedals or a way for someone to take over control of the car in the case of an emergency are currently illegal and California is even attempting to bar such vehicles from ever being able to operate on its roads.

Google has objected to such rules and wants a blanket law to cover the entire US, rather than a different set of regulations in each state.

"Self-driving technology will enhance public safety and mobility for the elderly and disabled, reduce traffic congestion, improve environmental quality, and advance transportation efficiency," the group said in a statement.

Ford added the group's purpose is to "work together to advocate for policy solutions that will support the deployment of fully autonomous vehicles."

Later today, the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will be holding a public forum at Stanford University on its self driving car guidelines, with contributions from technology companies and car manufacturers.

Clare Hopping
Freelance writer

Clare is the founder of Blue Cactus Digital, a digital marketing company that helps ethical and sustainability-focused businesses grow their customer base.

Prior to becoming a marketer, Clare was a journalist, working at a range of mobile device-focused outlets including Know Your Mobile before moving into freelance life.

As a freelance writer, she drew on her expertise in mobility to write features and guides for ITPro, as well as regularly writing news stories on a wide range of topics.