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April 27, 2016updated 05 Sep 2016 10:45am

Google joins Uber, Lyft and Ford in driverless car coalition

News: The Self-Driving Coalition for Safer Streets group plans to work with policymakers to identify the exact solutions that support the deployment of self-driving vehicles.

By CBR Staff Writer

Google has formed a driverless car coalition with automakers and taxi-hailing firms. The coalition, dubbed the Self-Driving Coalition for Safer Streets, includes Ford, Volvo, Uber and Lyft.

Former US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration official David Strickland will serve as the coalition’s counsel and spokesperson.

The group plans to work with policymakers to identify the appropriate solutions that support the deployment of self-driving vehicles.

It will work with civic organisations, municipalities and businesses to help make driverless cars a reality.

The group also intends to convince the public about the safety and benefits of self-driving vehicles.

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

Automated vehicles that do not have steering wheels, pedals or a way for someone to take control of the car in an emergency are currently illegal in some US states. California is planning to bar such vehicles from operating on roads.

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Google, which is opposing such rules, is seeking a law to cover the entire US, instead of different set of regulations in every state.

Earlier this year, US President Barack Obama proposed a $4bn budget to speed up the development and adoption of safe vehicle automation via real-world pilot projects.

Under the proposal, federal regulators, state partners, and automakers will work together to create a national policy for allowing driverless cars on the US roads.

Google launched the self-driving car project project in 2009 with plans to introduce them by 2020.

Earlier this year, a Google-commissioned study has revealed that self-driving cars are involved in less crashes when compared to human driven vehicles.

However, it was revealed last month that Google’s self-driving car was subject to an accident for the first time, crashing into public bus.

The crash happened on February 14, near Mountain View where the Google headquarters are located, when a Google car pulled out in front of a public bus.

The car was travelling at 2mph, while the bus was reportedly going 15mph. The human sitting in the Google car failed to override the car’s self-driving computer after assuming that the bus would slow down to let the car out.

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