The self-driving car industry is abandoning the term ‘self-driving’ and leaving it to Tesla

So long, Self-Driving Coalition for Safer Streets; hello, Autonomous Vehicle Industry Association!

The AV industry’s top lobbying group in Washington, DC is rebranding, dropping the reference to “self-driving” in exchange for a more straightforward moniker. The group, which was founded in 2016 by Waymo, Ford, Lyft, Uber, and Volvo, lobbies lawmakers to pass legislation favorable to its members. It has since grown to include the top AV operators in the country, including Cruise, Aurora, Argo AI, Motional, Nuro, and Zoox.

It’s the latest move by the AV industry to distance itself from the term “self-driving,” which many observers interpret as an acknowledgment of Tesla’s influence on the public’s awareness of the technology.

Tesla sells a feature called “Full Self-Driving,” which is a beta version of an advanced driver-assist system that controls some of the car’s functions on local roads but still requires human supervision. In contrast, autonomous vehicles are cars that can operate on public roads without any human intervention or supervision.