20 Nov 17

Volvo closes megadeal with Uber

The Swedish carmaker has signed a framework agreement with ride hailing company Uber for the sale of up to 24,000 ‘autonomous-ready’ cars between 2019 and 2021. This non-exclusive agreement strengthens the strategic partnership between Volvo and Uber, which started in 2016.

For Uber and own use

“The automotive industry is being disrupted by technology and Volvo Cars chooses to be an active part of that disruption,” said Håkan Samuelsson, president and chief executive. “Our aim is to be the supplier of choice for AD ride-sharing service providers globally. Today’s agreement with Uber is a primary example of that strategic direction.”

As well as providing Uber with AD compatible cars, Volvo will use the same base vehicle in the development of its own independent autonomous car programme. The OEM wants to release its first fully autonomous car in 2021.

XC90 versus driver

Volvo engineers have worked closely together with engineers from Uber to develop the XC90 that are to be supplied to Uber. The base vehicles incorporate all necessary safety, redundancy and core autonomous driving technologies required for Uber to add its own self-driving technology.

Uber’s business model is to evolve from cars being operated by freelance drivers to cars driving themselves, making individual transport cheaper than ever. Competitor Waymo announced it would be putting the first driverless cars on the road in just a few months’ time in Arizona – the only area in the world where it is not illegal to operate self-driving cars without a human driver behind the wheel.

Authored by: Dieter Quartier