An Uber self-driving Volvo drives in Pittsburgh in March
20 November, 2017, 18:11
Volvo has announced it will supply "tens of thousands" of self-driving-capable cars to Uber, the San-Francisco-based ride-hailing company. Volvo has already supplied XC90s to Uber for the California-based company to use as part of its autonomous vehicle testing programme.
The deal has the potential for controversy, especially given Volvo's long-held reputation for safety, and its promise that none of its cars will be involved in a fatal collision from 2020 onwards.
Meanwhile, Volvo is independently testing the waters of car-sharing with its new subscription service Care by Volvo which will be offered on the XC40 as well as the Polestar 1 coupé, the first vehicle from its new performance sub-brand. The non-binding framework deal could offer San Francisco-based Uber a way to overcome setbacks at its autonomous driving division in Silicon Valley's race to ideal self-driving systems.
"We're thrilled to expand our partnership with Volvo", said Uber's head of auto alliances, Jeff Miller.
"It only becomes a commercial business when you can remove that vehicle operator from the equation". The 24,000 vehicle model is also subject to change, depending on Uber's needs.
That includes Uber, which on Monday announced a new deal with Volvo.
Following the three-year self-driving partnership with Volvo, the non-binding framework could give Uber a boost in its ambitions to ideal self-driving systems to replace human drivers, following setbacks and lawsuits over trade secrets and talent. Volvo's agreement with Uber and Ford's with Lyft show the pressure on automakers to avoid becoming obsolete in a world of increased automation, and on ride-services companies to start automating to cut driver costs and turn profits.
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