DUBLIN, April 27, 2016 /PRNewswire/ --
Google has joined forces with Ford, Uber, Lyft and Volvo to help speed autonomous cars to the market. The companies announced the new coalition on Tuesday, which will be known as the Self-Driving Coalition for Safer Streets. David Strickland, formerly of the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), will be the coalition's spokesman.
The group will work with regulators and the public to realize the safety and societal benefits of autonomous vehicles, according to a statement released yesterday. The market acceptance of semi-autonomous vehicles has been growing in recent years, and this is causing a surge in demand for related products like automotive sensors. These sensors will aid the autonomous vehicles in making appropriate driving decisions, and the market for sensors is expected to grow at a rate of 6.92% by 2020.
The connected car market is also growing significantly, with a raft of deals between car manufacturers and tech companies. There is a rising demand from consumers for smartphone features such as making and receiving calls, music on demand, voice messages and infotainment in vehicles. The value of this market is estimated to reach 95.75 billion by 2020.
Uber and Lyft are also keen to exploit the growth in the ride-hailing market by introducing semi and fully autonomous vehicles. The radio taxi services market in the US is forecast to grow 6.6% in value over the next five years, with e-hailing and ride-sharing apps transforming the taxi industry.
This is a timely announcement, with the NHTSA holding the second of two public forums on self-driving car guidelines today. In 2014, NHTSA says about 94 percent of all traffic crashes were caused by human error and this is leading to them seriously considering autonomous technology. They hope to release guidance to states, policymakers and companies on the subject by July. It has previously said that AI system piloting a Google self-driving car could be considered a driver under federal law.
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