Volvo to supply Uber with tens of thousands of autonomous vehicles

Volvo and ride-sharing company Uber have announced that they have signed a framework agreement that’ll see the supply of tens of thousands of autonomous capable vehicles between 2019 and 2021.

In the agreement, Volvo will use the same Scalable Product Architecture (SPA) that is currently used on their XC90 and XC60 SUVs to supply Uber with over 20,000 XC90s that are capable of autonomous driving.

The new agreement strengthens a strategic partnership that started between Volvo and Uber back in 2016. Talking of the recent agreement, President and Chief Executive of Volvo Cars, Håkan Samuelsson, said: 

“The automotive industry is being disrupted by technology, and Volvo Cars chooses to be an active part of that disruption … 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.”

The cars themselves are being developed through a close partnership between engineers from both Volvo Cars and Uber to ensure that they incorporate all of the safety, redundancy and core autonomous driving technologies that are required by Uber.

As well as providing these autonomous XC90s for Uber, Volvo Cars plan to use the same SPA architecture to develop their own autonomous driving capable vehicle and aim to release their first fully autonomous car in 2021.

The result of all of this is that, in just a few years, the Uber that you order could very well be an autonomous Volvo XC90.

What are your thoughts on this plan – how would you feel if a driverless car appeared to pick you up? We’d like to hear your opinion on Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin.

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