The lobby group wants to speed up the development of self-driving technology
28 April 2016

Google, Uber, Lyft, Ford and Volvo, all of which are working on self-driving car technology, have formed a lobbying group to take on government regulations of autonomous vehicles.

The group, which calls itself the Self-Driving Coalition for Safer Streets, argues that self-driving cars will reduce the severity and frequency of crashes, but that more needs to be done by legislators to facilitate the implementation of autonomous technology into production models.

The lobby group says it will work with lawmakers, regulators and the public “to realise the safety and social benefits it provides”.

Volvo’s chief executive, Håkan Samuelsson, has been particularly vocal. “The sooner AD [autonomous driving] cars are on the roads, the sooner lives will start being saved," he said. "[But] the car industry cannot do it all by itself, we need governmental help.”

Ford has has also emphasised the importance of new legislation, saying it believes fully autonomous vehicles will help people travel more safely while also bringing mobility to those who currently are unable to drive.

The UK is at the forefront of autonomous technology development. Jaguar Land Rover’s own self-driving project recently received £3.41 million worth of funding from the UK government, and Volvo will be using London’s roads to test its future systems.

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Comments
6

28 April 2016
Who or what is the driving force behind the constant media promotion of self driving cars?
I cannot see cars being allowed onto roads without a licensed driver being onboard and capable of taking control due to liability issues and the law would want someone to prosecute when the inevitable deaths occur. Myself I welcome driving aids such as radar assisted cruise control but would never buy a completely self driving car, might as well get a taxi or a bus. With their far higher capital cost and already managed routes trains and aircraft are far more likely candidates for driverless operation.
In the 1990's it is said that when developing the Boeing 777 the engineers stated the ideal flight crew was one man and one big dog. When asked to explain what the dog was for the answer was the dog was there to bite the man if he touched any of the controls. The obvious next question was well what is the man there for. The answer being someone has to be there to feed the dog.
The story shows engineers belief in their systems but fails to allow for unforseen circumstances or faults in engineering systems. Just imagine a car running software developed by Micosoft that crashes often or being fleeced by Apple every few months for the latest must have gadget.

28 April 2016
Who or What is the driving force behind the constant media promotion of self driving cars? Who ever it is it is a massive global entity. We are already living in world where the control of military drones is conducted in one Country while they deploy surveillance and drop bombs on another. We see it in most major supermarkets in the form of self serving checkouts. We see it in all major banks in the form of ATM's. A lot of food production and manufacturing is automated now too. Going back to the issue of self driving cars, the media never seem to bring up the subject of privacy, this doesn't seem to be part of the discussion, because these cars are going to know and be capable of tracking every part of your future journeys. Like the cashless society that is being imposed on the young in education today , black boxes are likewise being imposed on young drivers, while these boxes don't take control of the vehicles they are installed in they do report back everything that is possible about each journey and how the driver manages controls. It takes years to leverage this amount of control over society but the clever thing is like a frog being slowly boiled in water society has barely noticed.

 Offence can only be taken not given- so give it back!

29 April 2016
This reminds me of a story I read recently. Conspiracy theorists find comfort in the notion that someone or something is in control. The alternative scares them to death NO ONE IS IN CONTROL. Autonomous cars are just a natural capital driven extension of technological advancement. It just so happens the guys with money and power are the nerds that grew up watching sci fi movies. If you can deliver a product that wider society will buy into and you can make a profit it will happen if the people with money want it to.

29 April 2016
And Sat Navs - forget it; I'm not going to drive off a cliff with my trusty paper map!

Sat Navs, Internet shopping, streaming media, social networks all things the Luddites said would never work.

"An AV will never be able to replace a human", we hear this all the time, but the fact is there are computers in your car making decisions for you now - traction control, autonomous breaking, active cruise control, heck there are even computers automatically dipping and raising the high beam!

The bit I find most ridiculous about the nay sayers is that generally their argument revolves around the technology not being as safe as human drivers. Human drivers are very unsafe, a Google search for statistics on road accidents will tell you that much; but even just colloquially, how many times have you been driving and seen someone's lack of concentration or terrible decision making result in a near-miss that might have resulted in a terrible accident if the timings had been slightly different. A machine that doesn't tire, doesn't get distracted, has a spherical, multi-spectrum view of the world and has a high and consistent driving ability will always be safer than a human driver. To judge the total potential of AV's by the standards of the prototypes we've seen so far would be idiotic. You only need to look at the progress they have made in the last few years to see that the capability trend is steep and upward.

This is inevitable! It's one thing to proclaim that you like driving (as most people on this site probably do) and that the idea of not driving any more worries you; but to proclaim this will never happen or that a human driver cannot be beaten on safety is like putting your head in the sand - worse still, it's this sort of fear mongering that the media repeats and which ultimately holds us back!

29 April 2016
and yet still no mention of the cost. Hardly anyone buys the self parking option for £900 so what chance a true AV capable of getting from one side of London to other then parking for less than £50,000 say.

 

Hydrogen cars just went POP

30 April 2016
Most people have no interest in driving and the sooner this chore is taken away from them, the better. More time to gaze at their smartphones.

Autocar readers will be the weirdo exceotions - like the Will Smith character in the sci-fi move I-Robot.

Personally, I find it hilarious that Uber is moving to remove the only part of their value chain that they don't take the income for. The easier to fleece the rest of us.

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