Ford Googles self-drivers

Google and Ford have kicked off an initiative to push autonomous car rules.

Also linking arms in the “Self-Driving Coalition for Safer Streets” are Volvo, Uber, and Lyft, and former official of the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is going to the group's counsel and spokesperson.

The group wants the US government to set out “clear rules of the road” for autonomous vehicles, but will also spend time on public education, because it doesn't want people to think it will exist only to act as a Beltway lobby.

The NHTSA is on board to some extent, telling a forum on self-driving cars it doesn't want a patchwork of state-by-state regulations in the US.

That patchwork is already emerging, however, with California excluding (PDF) excluding "autonomous vehicles that are capable of operating without the presence of a driver” – meaning steering wheel and pedals are needed in case the driver has to take over from the robot. ®

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