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 newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Google

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

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?