Ford and Google are teaming up, in a move that may bring the autonomous car one step closer to reality.
While the technology that would allow cars to operate without a human driver accelerates at a rapid pace, the government regulations necessary before they can be implemented have moved along at a slower clip. Ford has joined Google as part of the Self-Driving Coalition for Safer Streets. The group presented at a hearing held by the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration, as guidelines are developed to govern the use of driverless vehicles. Ford and Google are joined in the group by Uber, Lyft, and Volvo. Other carmakers testified as well, including Toyota and General Motors.
The goal is not only to establish guidelines for the deployment of autonomous vehicles, but to increase the safety of everyone on the road. While features such as automatic braking are becoming more commonplace (and we recently noted the efforts to make this an industry standard here), there are hopes that completely autonomous cars could eliminate traffic fatalities entirely.
Expect more hearings such as this one in the future, and for more automotive and technology companies to become involved as the legislation required to allow driverless cars on the road comes closer to fruition.