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Google, Uber ally with auto giants to fight for self-driving cars

Tech giants like Google and Uber may be destined to compete with traditional automakers as we veer towards a self-driving future, but for the time being, at least, they’re teaming up to clear the road for autonomous vehicles.

The Cilicon Valley giants, along with the ride-sharing firm Lyft, have formed a coalition with Ford and Volvo to help overcome the regulatory barriers preventing the tech being approved.

In a statement on Tuesday, the new Self-Driving Coalition for Safer Streets extolled the safety credentials of the autonomous tech as well as the potential for the absence of human control to lessen traffic problems.

See also: Best self-driving cars from the Geneva Motor Show

Self-driving technology will enhance public safety and mobility for the elderly and disabled, reduce traffic congestion, improve environmental quality, and advance transportation efficiency,” the group, which has enlisted former US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration official David Strickland as spokesperson, said (via BBC).

Strickland said the group is looking to establish “clear rules” to enable a path for fully autonomous vehicles to become legal. “Nobody wants to take a shortcut on this,” he said on Tuesday.

All of the companies are working on self-driving cars for a variety of purposes. In Uber’s case an autonomous fleet would enable it to eliminate its largest expense… its drivers.

In a statement the company said: “1.3 million people die every year in traffic accidents—many of them young people. Self driving cars can help save millions of lives as well as cut congestion in our cities.”


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