Uber and Volvo are upping their self-driving auto agreement

21 November, 2017, 01:11 | Author: Franklin Nunez
  • Volvo and Uber expand tie-up in race to dominate self-driving cars

The Swedish automaker confirmed it had entered into an agreement to supply Uber with up to 24,000 of its flagship XC90 SUVs cars, complete with autonomous technology.

A framework agreement between Uber and Volvo Cars has been signed that will see Uber buy 24,000 base vehicles with driverless capabilities between 2019 and 2021.

Volvo and Uber expand tie-up in race to dominate self-driving cars

This latest news follows a 2016 agreement between the two companies, which saw Uber adding its own self-driving systems to a Volvo base auto. Uber already uses Volvo's XC90 as the testbed for its self-driving system, which is now undergoing trials in Arizona and Pittsburgh.

Volvo says that it has worked closely with Uber engineers to help develop the XC90 SUVs that will be used in the program. Uber's move will definitely boost sales at Volvo's end and also aid in keeping the costs low at the Chinese-controlled group's own plans for 2021 considering fully autonomous cars.

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In just over a year - in a city somewhere in the United States - your Uber could pick you up without a driver behind the wheel. One of the main reasons why Uber went with the Volvo XC90 SUV is because it features a core for autonomous driving technology that will allow Uber to add its own automation features on top of what's already offered, Volvo states.

"This new agreement puts us on a path towards mass produced self-driving vehicles at scale", said Jeff Miller, Head of Auto Alliances, Uber.

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Uber first tested its driverless taxi service in Pittsburgh, and it also tests cars in Arizona.

Competitor Waymo recently announced plans to begin its own autonomous ride-hailing service, which may be the reason for Uber accelerating its plans, Tech Crunch reported. Among those that have agreed to test autonomous vehicles on Lyft's platform are Delphi Automotive Plc's NuTonomy, Ford Motor Co., Jaguar Land Rover and Waymo. The potentially massive new investment would change Uber's way of doing business, and make it less reliant on a fleet of contractors.

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