Uber will purchase from 24 000 Autonomous Volvo crossover XC90

Posted November 21, 2017

Volvo and Uber began a partnership previous year, and the automaker has said it plans to introduce a fully self-driving vehicle for the public in 2021.

At the same time as providing Uber with AD compatible cars, Volvo will use the same base vehicle in the development of its own independent autonomous auto strategy, which is planned to culminate in the release of its first fully autonomous auto in 2021.

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"This new agreement puts us on a path towards mass produced self-driving vehicles at scale", Miller said in a joint statement with Volvo. Uber will add its own sensors and software to permit pilot-less driving. Under terms announced today (Nov. 20), Volvo will sell Uber up to 24,000 "base cars" modeled on its popular XC90, a luxury SUV, from 2019 to 2021. Pilot projects around the USA were temporarily halted after an early version of a Volvo-Uber-developed vehicle flipped on its side after an accident in Tempe, Arizona. Under the agreement, Uber plans to purchase tens of thousands of self-driving Volvos once the technology is production-ready, putting the vehicles into its extensive ride-hailing network. The company has been working with Volvo for more than a year in Tempe, Arizona and Pittsburgh in the US. Uber's US$70 billion valuation already puts the group nearly on a par with Mercedes-Benz parent company Daimler. Volvo, on the other hand, can then use those cars as part of its own offering in the future.

"Our aim is to be the supplier of choice for AD ride-sharing service providers globally", said Håkan Samuelsson, president and chief executive of Volvo.

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As Miller indicated to FT, there's a lot of variability built into the contract between Volvo and Uber, where 24,000 is an intial order and a "best guess". "It's a new market that's emerging and we're the first to be delivering into that segment".

Uber said that anyone in the industry could potentially "deploy its tech".

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