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Toyota, GM and Ford team on autonomous driving standards

New body to expand automakers' influence as tech companies enter industry

A fleet of self-driving Ford Motor cars for Uber Technologies.   © Reuters

NEW YORK -- Toyota Motor, General Motors and Ford Motor will work together to establish common safety standards for automated driving, the automakers said Wednesday.

The partnership, named the Automated Vehicle Safety Consortium, brings together automakers with a combined share of nearly half the U.S. market.

Industry group SAE International also will participate in the group, which will lobby for the necessary physical and legal infrastructure.

The move represents an effort to put the auto industry in the driver's seat for setting standards as fully self-driving cars -- level 4 and higher on the SAE's scale -- are expected to become practical as early as 2021.

Autonomous driving has brought the likes of Google and other tech companies into a sector once dominated by manufacturers.

The size of the safety standards partnership suggests that it will exert influence over European and Japanese policymaking on self-driving cars as well.

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