The self-driving car industry still has years to go before consumer vehicles are capable of hitting public roads, but much headway has been made over the years since Google began work with research and development on automated vehicles, and they aren't the only company that's made progress. Both Ford and Uber are also doing their own research, but even with one of the auto industry's largest brands and the most popular ride-sharing service doing their parts to further the development of self-driving cars, there is a lot to do and likely many more years of testing and certification before things are labeled safe. To help speed things along, Google is partnering up with Uber and Ford as well as a couple of other companies to form a self-driving car coalition that will request help from the federal government on pushing things through where needed.
This wouldn't be the first time that Google and Ford had worked together on bringing new technology to market, as they have been working to integrate Google's Android Auto technology into some of Ford's vehicles, with Ford's CTO referring to Google as a great development partner. With experience and history working together the two companies along with their other coalition partners should be able to get things done.
Alongside the two already mentioned, both Lyft and Volvo are part of the coalition as well, which will receive counsel from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's previous top official David Strickland, who will help to speak out on their behalf. While the coalition's goal is to speed up the process to bring autonomous cars to market, they will still do so by working with regulators to draw up and come to an agreement on clear guidelines and standards that will lead to the deployment of self-driving cars onto public roads. In addition to this, the coalition will also be looking to start things off by working with municipalities and businesses. Although self-driving cars must currently have a steering wheel built-in just in case the vehicle needs to be handled by a human being, it's entirely possible for that regulation to change sooner than later, with the NHTSA having already commented that one of Google's self-driving vehicles could be considered a driver under federal law.