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Google, Uber form group to advocate for self-driving cars

[NEW YORK] A group of companies including Alphabet Inc's Google, Ford Motor Co and Uber Technologies Inc, are forming a coalition to advocate for safety regulations for self-driving cars and help bring them to American roads.

The group, which also includes Volvo Cars and Lyft Inc, aims to work with lawmakers, regulators and the public to "realize the safety and societal benefits of self-driving vehicles," according to a statement Tuesday.

Some 1.3 million people die every year in traffic accidents - many of them young people, according to a statement from Uber. "Self-driving cars can help save millions of lives," it said.

Autonomous cars will make roads in the US safer and less congested, according to the group, but "one clear set of federal standards" is needed to help facilitate bringing the vehicles to market. One of the group's first tasks will be to work with civic organizations, municipalities and businesses to accomplish that goal, according to the statement.

"Fully autonomous vehicles will help people travel more safely and efficiently, as well as facilitate mobility for those currently unable to drive," Ford said in a separate statement.

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David Strickland, a former administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, will serve as the coalition's counsel and spokesman.

"Eventually, the world will move to one where autonomous vehicles are a major mode of transportation," said Taggart Matthiesen, a director of product at Lyft.


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