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Google, Ford, Uber partner to push autonomous driving

Lyft, Volvo round out founding members of Self-Driving Coalition for Safe Streets

There aren’t many details available, but a new coalition comprising technology, automotive and ride-sharing interests has formed to advocate for safer street made possible by autonomous driving.

Founding members of the Self-Driving Coalition for Safe Streets include Google, Ford, Volvo, Lyft and Uber.

According to an announcement, the coalition is designed “to work with lawmakers, regulators, and the public to realize the safety and societal benefits of self-driving vehicles. One of the first tasks of the coalition will be to work with civic organizations, municipalities and businesses to bring the vision of self-driving vehicles to America’s roads and highways.”

Google’s self-driving vehicle program has been going on for years and test vehicles have covered more than a million road miles in Mountain View, California, Austin, Texas and Kirkland, Washington.

Former National Highway Traffic Safety Administration chief David Strickland will be the public face of the group serving as counsel and spokesperson.

“Self-driving vehicle technology will make America’s roadways safer and less congested,” Strickland said. “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.” .

Based on U.S. Department of Transportation accounting, last year there were 33,000 fatalities on America’s roads with 94% of road accidents cause by human error. DoT said, “Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death among young people aged 15-29 years.”

Autonomous driving is viewed as an advanced use case combining Internet of Things technology with the ultra high-capacity, low latency throughput associated with 5G. On paper at least, autonomous vehicles will communicate with smart municipal infrastructure, other cars on the road, the environment around it and other platforms.

Google is just one of the major players working on autonomous driving. Apple has a highly secretive project, Tesla is working on it and has even rolled out features to commercial vehicles and a group in Europe just demonstrated how semi-trucks can autonomously navigate Europe.



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