Volvo joins coalition to promote safer self-driving cars
The Self-Driving Coalition for Safer Streets is a group founded by Volvo Cars, Ford, Google, Uber and car-sharing service Lyft. The Coalition’s aim is to help “realise the safety and societal benefits of self-driving vehicles” in the US. It will “work with civic organizations, municipalities and businesses to bring the vision of self-driving vehicles to America’s roads and highways”.
David Strickland, Administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) – the US government agency responsible for road safety – from 2010-2014, will be the Coalition’s counsel and spokesperson. In his role at NHTSA Strickland issued the first automated vehicle policy and led campaigns to fight impaired and distracted driving.
Mr Strickland said: “Self-driving vehicle technology will make America’s roadways safer and less congested. The best path for this innovation is to have one clear set of federal standards, and the Coalition will work with policymakers to find the right solutions that will facilitate the deployment of self-driving vehicles.”
Improving safety on US roads is one of the key aims of the Coalition. In 2015 there were 33,000 deaths on US roads and, according to NHTSA figures, an estimated 94% of road accidents were caused by human error.
The Coalition says that self-driving technology will also “enhance public safety and mobility for the elderly and disabled, reduce traffic congestion, improve environmental quality and advance transportation efficiency”.
The Verge described the formation of the group as “a power move by some of the most high-profile names behind the still nascent technology”, while Forbes said the Coalition “counts among its members some of the most influential companies in the space.”