WASHINGTON—A group of auto makers and tech firms advocating for autonomous vehicles has called on U.S. regulators to change federal auto safety standards that effectively prohibit the operation of a car without the presence of a driver.
The Self-Driving Coalition for Safer Streets wants the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to amend certain Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards that it says limit fully autonomous vehicles, the group said in a statement.
The group, whose founding members are Ford Motor Co., Google, Volvo, Uber and Lyft, also called on Congress to enact legislation to aid self-driving car deployment.
It marks the first time that companies developing self-driving car technologies have explicitly called on regulators to issue new rules or amend current ones.
The coalition's goals were outlined in written comments responding to the Transportation Department's autonomous car policy guidance released in September. The guidance stopped short of issuing new regulations for fear of squelching innovation.
“The Coalition's foremost priority is the safe development and deployment of fully-self driving vehicles,” said David Strickland, a former NHTSA administrator and spokesman for the coalition. “We support the development of a single national framework and urge NHTSA to discourage state and local policymakers from pursuing their own rules and contributing to an inconsistent patchwork of regulations.”