Google, Uber, Lyft team up on self-driving cars

The companies will work together to try and steer regulations in their favor

Google and ride-sharing rivals Uber and Lyft have formed an unlikely alliance to attempt to influence politicians and steer forthcoming self-driving car regulations in their favor.

Together with automakers Ford and Volvo, the five have formed the "Self-Driving Coalition for Safer Streets" -- a lobby group that will try to convince lawmakers that self-driving car technology has safety and societal benefits and needs less regulation to thrive, according to Reuters.

Like most lobby groups, the coalition draws from the very agency it's trying to influence -- David Strickland, former head of the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), will be its counsel. Strickland left the government in 2014 for a job in a lobbying firm.

The NHTSA has been largely welcoming of self-driving car technology and is currently writing federal regulations that should pave the way for greater use of driverless cars on public streets. The agency has jumped into action in part to avoid a patchwork of state-by-state laws springing up that could stifle the technology.

But the new rules could take several forms and may go too far for the five companies, thus this attempt to steer political decision making.

The five companies are well versed in the use of lobbying to influence politicians. Google is the tech industry's biggest lobbyist. It spent US $3.8 million on federal lobbying in the first three months of this year, dwarfing the $320,000 spent by Uber and the $20,000 spent by Lyft. Ford spent $1.2 million and Volvo spent $170,000.

Google has long been developing self-driving cars and was recently dealt a setback in California, when the state failed to remove the requirement for a steering wheel -- something Google had wanted.

Uber has also been investigating self-driving car technology and stands to rid itself of its labor headaches and make considerably more money if it can automate its fleet.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Google

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Martyn Williams

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?