Carmakers, tech giants and ride-share companies are teaming up to make autonomous cars a reality in the U.S.
Ford, Volvo, Google, Lyft and Uber announced on Tuesday they had started the Self-Driving Coalition for Safer Streets, which will work to promote autonomous driving technology with lawmakers, regulators and the public.
The Coalition will be headed by David Strickland, former Administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
“Self-driving vehicle technology will make America’s roadways safer and less congested,” Strickland said in a release. “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.”
While carmakers Volvo and Ford are keen to promote autonomy for safety reasons, the tech and ride-hailing companies likely have a slightly different agenda.
Specifically, Lyft and Uber want to own a fleet of self-driving cars, which would eliminate the financially and logistically messy need for human drivers.
Regardless of motive, autonomy will be a benefit for everyone. An estimated 94% of road accidents are caused by human error, according to the release, and there were 33,000 fatalities on America’s roads last year. Self-driving cars have the ability to significantly diminish that number.