Google, Uber and Ford go full throttle on self-driving cars with new lobby group

Shaping the autonomous future through government lobbying

What do Google, Uber, Lyft, Ford and Volvo have in common?

All five companies came together to form The Self-Driving Coalition for Safer Streets, a lobbying group that plans to work with regulators to define federal standards for autonomous cars.

Leading the group is David Strickland, a former top official for the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The coalition forms just in time for NHTSA's second public forum to discuss guidelines and rules for autonomous cars.

Drive on

Currently, the government considers the artificial intelligence (AI) in the Google self-driving car as "the driver," but laws still vary from state to state.

Nevada is quite lax when it comes to the definition of autonomous cars, which is why automakers such as Mercedes and Kia use the state as a testing ground for their self-driving cars.

However, the federal government plans on investing $4 billion over 10 year to create national regulations and policies so that autonomous driving laws are consistent across the country.

Regulations aside, Google's self-driving AI is learning to cope with the rain and watch out for school buses, while Ford is testing cars in the snow and darkness.

While self-driving car development is advancing quickly, NHTSA isn't exactly the quickest to alter rules and regulations to legalize the latest and greatest vehicle technologies, like laser headlights.

Hopefully, The Self-Driving Coalition for Safer Streets can urge NHTSA to adopt national rules for autonomous cars so we can commute while working in a safe manner.