The term self-driving is going away in favor of the term autonomous vehicles after the leading coalition for automated driving rebranded to Autonomous Vehicle Industry Association (AVIA).
The coalition consists of many of the heavyweights in the automated vehicle space including Ford, Lyft, Uber, General Motors, Volvo Cars and Waymo. Also, startups Argo AI, Aurora, Embark, Motional, Nuro and Zoox are part of the coalition. Also, autonomous truck vendors Kodiak, and TuSimple are part of the group.
Formerly known as the Self-Driving Coalition for Safer Streets, the trade association seeks to improve safety and enhance mobility in the autonomous vehicle industry.
The organization said the name change is due to the industry wanting to offer consistency and precision in how the industry, policymakers, journalists and the public talk about autonomous driving technology. The group wants to distinguish between autonomous vehicles and driver-assisted vehicles to help boost consumer trust.
Whereas driver-assisted vehicles require some control of passengers or drivers, autonomous vehicles require no human operators or backup drivers.
Navya has joined the trade organization as well. Navya is building AV technology to create new modes of transportation for passengers and goods. The company currently is conducting pilot projects in more than 20 countries.
AVIA said a projected 40,000 Americans died on roads last year, the largest increase in 15 years. Autonomous vehicles will help save lives as they do not get tired or get impaired and will also avoid human errors, which are the main cause of traffic accidents.