Google, alongside some major partners like Uber, Ford and Volvo have entered into a coalition in an effort to further the cause of self-driving cars and advocate for regulatory approval.
These four companies, as well as Uber’s rival Lyft have banded together as they are among the biggest players in the autonomous cars market, a space that’s quickly becoming crowded with the constant addition of new players. The companies have formed a lobbying and advocacy group with the intent to spread information about self-driving cars and lobby for regulatory approval in the US.
Self-driving cars are seen as an upcoming technology that will revolutionize numerous aspects of our societies, starting with the way we use personal cars, to the way we design cities, to a decrease in price of consumer products. But perhaps the biggest claim of autonomous vehicles is that of radically improved road safety.
There’s a lot of evidence actively being gathered, not only by these five companies but also by some of their competitors, showing that self-driving cars have the potential of being radically safer than human-driven ones. Recently, Elon Musk, Tesla’s CEO came out with data that showed even limited autonomous capabilities are significantly better at accident prevention than humans. Self-driving cars could possibly save tens of thousands of lives every year when they become mainstream.
All that’s standing in the way of self-driving cars becoming a reality, besides advances in technology, is regulatory approval. While small scale tests have been performed for years, general regulations for self-driving cars have not come into force anywhere in the world. And the group formed by Google, Volvo, Ford, Uber and Lyft is looking to change that. Google recently won a big victory in this area when it convinced the US government that its algorithms can be legally viewed as a car’s driver. But more hurdles remain, both in private and public lives before autonomous vehicles become a staple of our society.
Here's hoping they won’t remain there for long.