GM starts lobbying on self-driving cars

GM starts lobbying on self-driving cars
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General Motors has hired a series of lobbyists to push its case for self-driving vehicles to lawmakers and regulators. 

The auto manufacturer has brought on The Fritts Group, a boutique lobbying firm, to advocate on self-driving cars, connected cars and cybersecurity privacy, according to a disclosure filed earlier this week. 

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The lobbying on the issues will be handled by the firm’s three leaders — Edward Fritts, Melinda Lewis and Susan Buck. 

GM has been lobbying on cybersecurity issues for some time, but it appears to be one of the first times it has listed autonomous vehicles in its lobbying portfolio. 

The registration from the largest U.S. car maker comes as it makes large investments in self-driving technology, and Washington is beginning to take notice.  

In January, GM dropped $500 million into the ride-hailing company Lyft. It was reported that the deal was aimed at autonomous vehicles as ride-sharing becomes a bigger part of the industry. Last month, GM acquired Cruise Automation, a software company that specializes in self-driving technology. 

The lobbying registration, officially filed at the beginning of April, came only a few weeks after a Senate Commerce Committee hearing on the future of self-driving cars, in which GM participated. A number of Democrats used the hearing to press for industry standards to protect self-driving cars from cyberattacks. 

According to lobbying disclosures, a number of well known names have listed “autonomous vehicles” in their lobbying portfolio. Those include companies like Intel, Verizon, Volvo, Google and a number of trade groups.