Uber orders up to 24000 Volvo SUVs for its self-driving fleet

21 November, 2017, 01:12 | Author: Gladys Mathis
  • Volvo and Uber expand tie-up in race to dominate self-driving cars

The non-exclusive agreement enhances the strategic partnership between Volvo Cars and Uber announced in August 2016 and also marks a new chapter in the convergence of auto makers and Silicon Valley-based technology companies.

Uber agreed to buy 24,000 SUVs from Volvo to form a fleet of driverless vehicles, a signal that the company remains committed to autonomous cars under newly appointed CEO Dara Khosrowshahi. Volvo intends to use the technologies developed with Uber for its own vehicle production in the future.

Uber and Volvo have reached a non-binding agreement whereby the Swedish carmaker will supply 24,000 self-driving cars to Uber.

This latest move is a result of engineers from both companies developing the self-driving XC90 models that will be supplied to Uber. The autonomous fleet will still be small, compared with the over 2 million humans who drive for Uber.

Uber and competitors like Lyft ultimately hope to take the driver out of their vehicles since that is the single largest component in cost of a ride.

Uber announced the Volvo deal Monday, according to The New York Times.

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The company is also testing the vehicle in Arizona, San Francisco and Pittsburgh along with a safety driver to help refine and improve their software.

"Our aim is to be the supplier of choice for AD ride-sharing service providers globally".

The first taxis from the deal will be built in Volvo's factory in Sweden but the company plans to produce the vehicles in the U.S. China's Volvo is also building a new factory just outside Charleston, South Carolina. Volve is expected to deliver the vehicles between 2019 and 2021, paving the way for Uber to greatly expand its self-driving programs.

"It only becomes a commercial business when you can remove that vehicle operator from the equation", Miller said.

Moreover, the agreement has showed that Uber is pushing on with the development of its autonomous cars programme, in spite a legal feud with Google's sister company, Waymo.

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