Google connects with Uber to influence lawmakers on Self-Driving Technology

google self driving car
The image was posted by Google of its self-driving car on a public road

Self-driving cars will be everywhere in the roads one day – if that seems impractical to you, you are somehow wrong. Experts have predicted it, though they agree that the technology has evolved sooner than they expected. Only one thing that is standing in between, is the law and now the innovators are all geared-up to address the same.

In its latest attempts to urge lawmakers for paving way to self-driving cars, tech giant Google started pitching for the self-driving vehicle technology with a fresh approach. Google, along with ride sharing companies Uber and Lyft has formed a coalition with car makers Ford and Volvo. The group thus formed ‘Self-Driving Coalition for Safer Streets’ will try to convince lawmakers for adopting the technology. Former head of U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) David Strickland has been named as counsel and spokesperson for the coalition.

As per the NHTSA, around 94 percent accidents are caused by human error in the country. It is highly expected that self-driving cars could help in reducing the severity and frequency of crashes by significant margin. Spokesperson of Uber said, “Self driving cars can help save millions of lives as well as cut congestion in our cities.”

The legislation for allowing self-driving cars has been passed in  four U.S states, which includes Nevada, Florida, California and Michigan. Similar legislation was also passed in Washington D.C. All the states have mentioned different rules for allowing driver-less cars, with California stating that the car must have a steering wheel and pedals so that a person can take charge of the vehicle at the time of emergency, but the same was largely opposed by the Google.

The newly formed coalition said in a statement that it will ‘work with lawmakers, regulators and the public to realize the safety and societal benefits of self-driving vehicles’.

Coalition counsel Strickland said in an interview “What people are looking for is clear rules of the road of what needs to be done for (fully autonomous) vehicles to be on the road.” Explaining the role of the coalition, he said “the group is a full policy and messaging campaign and movement and not just about lobbying lawmakers or regulators.”

Strickland also pointed that the self-driving vehicle technology will make America’s roads more safe and less congested. When asked about the need of the lobby group, he 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.”

The NHTSA is currently writing federal regulations and is expected to release its guidance to states, policymakers and companies on self-driving vehicles in July.

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