GM, Ford and Toyota join to advance self-driving innovation

Ford self-driving cars

Three major automakers stated on Wednesday they were establishing a consortium to help draw up safety standards for self-driving vehicles that could eventually help forming regulations in the United States.

General Motors, Ford Motor and Toyota Motor stated they were joining forces with automotive engineering group SAE International to form autonomous vehicle “safety guiding principles to help inform standards development.”

The group is further going to “work to safely advance testing, pre-competitive development and deployment,” they included.

Regulators in the United States have been struggling on ways to regulate self-driving cars, with other nations observing closely to see how implementation of the emerging technology pans out.

Last year, U.S. lawmakers, not able to agree on a way forward, abandoned a bid to pass sweeping legislation to accelerate the introduction of vehicles without steering wheels and human controls onto roads, but may resurrect the effort later in 2019.

The new group, dubbed the Automated Vehicle Safety Consortium, will start by deciding priorities, with a focus on data sharing, vehicle interaction with other road users and safe testing guidelines.

Randy Visintainer, chief technology officer at Ford’s Autonomous Vehicles unit, stated the goal was to collaborate with companies and government “to expedite development of standards that can result in rule making“.

Last month, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration publicly asked if robotic cars should be permitted on streets without steering wheels or brake pedals as they attempt to set the first legal boundaries for their design. NHTSA’s present rules disallow vehicles without human controls.

The regulator will for the first time compare an automobile in which all driving decisions are made by a computer against a human driver.

Issues are on a rise about automated piloting systems.

The new consortium referred as a successful model a standards group that helped create a collection of about 4,500 aerospace standards spanning airframe, engine and other aircraft parts.

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