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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

This week, Ford, BMW, Mercedes Benz and Volvo announced a major data sharing partnership focused on road safety that includes European service providers and the transportation ministries of several EU member states.

Why it matters: Shared data from connected vehicles on weather and road conditions will ideally improve safety in real-time, and it could represent a major step forward for vehicle to vehicle communication.

What's happening: This latest partnership, overseen by the European Data Task Force, is one of several recent efforts by automakers to collaborate in order to share data.

  • The idea here is to collect data when a vehicle, say, turns on its hazard warning lights, then share that data with vehicles nearby via cloud technology.
  • BMW, GM, Ford and Renault have also formed a research group that aims to use blockchain to share customer data to develop shared mobility options.

Between the lines: These data sharing partnerships will allow car companies to test cloud-based and blockchain technology in use cases that could pave the way for communication between autonomous cars.

  • They also offer opportunities to experiment with transparently sharing anonymized vehicle data, by holding automakers accountable to not misuse it.
  • European data privacy law ensures that customers will be informed as to how their data is being used, but the U.S. lacks similar protections.

What we're watching: If customers experience increased safety and convenience, it could ultimately build greater public trust in AVs that eventually have V2V capabilities.

Sudha Jamthe is director of DriverlessWorldSchool and teaches AV Business at Stanford Continuing Studies.

Go deeper

CDC to cut guidance on quarantine period for coronavirus exposure

A health care worker oversees cars as people arrive to get tested for coronavirus at a testing site in Arlington, Virginia, on Tuesday. Photo: Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

The CDC will soon shorten its guidance for quarantine periods following exposure to COVID-19, AP reported Tuesday and Axios can confirm.

Why it matters: Quarantine helps prevent the spread of the coronavirus, which can occur before a person knows they're sick or if they're infected without feeling any symptoms. The current recommended period to stay home if exposed to the virus is 14 days. The CDC plans to amend this to 10 days or seven with a negative test, an official told Axios.

  • The CDC did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
1 hour ago - Health

CDC panel: COVID vaccines should go to health workers, long-term care residents first

Hospital staff work in the COVID-19 intensive care unit in Houston. Photo: Go Nakamura via Getty

Health-care workers and nursing home residents should be at the front of the line to get coronavirus vaccines in the United States once they’re cleared and available for public use, an independent CDC panel recommended in a 13-1 emergency vote on Tuesday, per CNBC.

Why it matters: Recent developments in COVID-19 vaccines have accelerated the timeline for distribution as vaccines developed by Pfizer and Moderna undergo the federal approval process. States are preparing to begin distributing as soon as two weeks from now.

Obama: Broad slogans like "defund the police" lose people

Snapchat.

Former President Barack Obama told Peter Hamby on the Snapchat original political show "Good Luck America" that "snappy" slogans such as "defund the police" can alienate people, making the statements less effective than intended.

What he's saying: "You lost a big audience the minute you say it, which makes it a lot less likely that you're actually going to get the changes you want done," Obama told Hamby in an interview that will air Wednesday morning at 6 a.m. EST on Snapchat.

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