Ford Motor Co., General Motors, and Toyota Motor Corp. have formed a consortium to help formulate safety standards for autonomous vehicles, reports Reuters.

The three automakers will work closely with automotive engineering group SAE International to establish "safety guiding principles to help inform standards development."

Known as the Automated Vehicle Safety Consortium, the new group will also "work to safely advance testing, pre-competitive development and deployment" of self-driving vehicles, notes Reuters.

The leadership team plans to begin by outlining priorities, with a focus on data sharing, vehicle interaction with other road users and safe testing guidelines.

For several years now, federal regulators have been wrestling with the challenge of how to regulate autonomous vehicles. The long-term goal of the new consortium is to provide a blueprint that will eventually help create regulations in the United States.

In 2018, U.S. legislators abandoned a bid to pass sweeping legislation that would advance the introduction of vehicles without steering wheels and human controls onto roads, but may resurrect the initiative later this year, reports Reuters.