Volvo to supply "tens of thousands" of autonomous cars to Uber

Lloyd Doyle
November 21, 2017

In an effort to build-out its self-driving fleet, Uber has agreed to buy up to 24,000 autonomous vehicles from Volvo over the course of three years, starting in 2019.

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.

Since 2015, the XC90 plug-in hybrid model has been part of Uber's collaboration with Volvo, and now Uber will buy the base version of the model.

The new deal would significantly expand the scale of the operation but current legislation surrounding autonomous vehicles could make it hard for the ride-sharing company to reach level five automation where the cars would be completely autonomous.

Volvo chief executive Hakan Samuelsson said: "We get support developing this vehicle". The company plans to release of its first fully autonomous vehicle in 2021.

Volvo to supply
Volvo to supply "tens of thousands" of autonomous cars to Uber

The deal shows Uber's preparation to own and operate its own fleet of autonomous vehicles. Uber has been conducting most of its testing in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, although the company's test fleets have also taken to roads in Arizona and California.

Vice president of Volvo for product strategy, Marten Levenstam said, "We think it's better to be part of the potentially disruptive change as opposed to standing on the sidelines and watching it happen".

Volvo, which has been under Chinese ownership since it was bought by Zhejiang Geely Holding Group from Ford in 2010, plans to make the SUVs at its Torslanda plant in western Sweden, and Samuelsson said they would be sold at roughly the same profit margin as Volvo sells through dealers.

"This new agreement puts us on a path towards mass produced self-driving vehicles at scale", Jeff Miller, Uber's head of auto alliances, said in a statement.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

Discuss This Article