Google, Ford and Volvo Among Members of New Self-Driving Car Coalition | Edmunds

Google, Ford and Volvo Among Members of New Self-Driving Car Coalition

WASHINGTON — Google, Ford, Uber, Lyft and Volvo have formed the new Self-Driving Coalition for Safer Streets to "work with lawmakers, regulators and the public to realize the safety and societal benefits of self-driving vehicles," the group said in a statement on Tuesday.

The group's goal is to "advocate for safe, self-driving technology in the U.S.," it said.

David Strickland, the former head of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, will serve as the coalition's counsel and spokesman.

"Self-driving vehicle technology will make America's roadways safer and less congested," Strickland said in a statement. "The best path for this innovation is to have one clear set of federal standards, and the coalition will work with policymakers to find the right solutions that will facilitate the deployment of self-driving vehicles."

Tech giant Google has been at the forefront of the development of self-driving cars.

Its test fleet includes modified Lexus RX 450h SUVs and new prototype vehicles. The vehicles are being tested on the streets in several locations, including Mountain View, California and Phoenix, Arizona.

Ford is testing Ford Fusion Hybrid autonomous research vehicles and earlier this month showed how such a vehicle can navigate on desert roads at night with no headlights, "performing a task that would be perilous for a human driver," the company said.

"Driving in pitch black at Ford Arizona Proving Ground marks the next step on the company's journey to delivering fully autonomous vehicles to customers around the globe," Ford said in a statement.

Volvo is telling consumers that soon "your Volvo will be able to steer, accelerate and brake itself, taking you safely and efficiently to your destination."

"It's arriving sooner than you might think," Volvo said in a statement. "Self-driving Volvos are already on Swedish roads and by 2017, real-world customers will be using 100 self-driving Volvos on public roads, the world's first large-scale autonomous drive project."

NHTSA will hold a public meeting on Wednesday at Stanford University to gather input as it develops guidelines for the safe deployment of automated vehicles and other automated safety technologies.

Federal safety regulators are expected to release guidance to states, policymakers and companies working on self-driving vehicles in July.

Edmunds says: This coalition is another step toward getting self-driving cars into the hands of consumers, as the effort grows to make sure they can be safely deployed.

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