Volvo Cars Will Supply Uber With Up to 24000 Self-Driving Cars

Volvo Cars Will Supply Uber With Up to 24000 Self-Driving Cars

Volvo has announced it will supply "tens of thousands" of self-driving-capable cars to Uber, the San-Francisco-based ride-hailing company.

The base vehicles are developed on Volvo Cars' modular, in-house developed Scalable Product Architecture (SPA). Volvo engineers have been working closely with Uber to develop a base vehicle with core driverless technology that the ride-hailing company can then augment.

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.

Photo An Uber self-driving Volvo in Pittsburgh.

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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 auto from its new performance sub-brand. It has been working with Uber for almost three years to develop a base vehicle with core autonomous tech, which the ride-sharing company could then customize as it sees fit.

Should Uber buy all 24,000 cars, it would be Volvo's largest order by far and the biggest sale in the autonomous vehicle industry to date, giving Uber - losing more than $600m a quarter - its first commercial fleet of cars.

"I don't know of anyone in the world who is saying they will be able to do Level 5, which is autonomous all the time everywhere in every use case". "It only becomes a commercial business when you can remove that vehicle operator from the equation", Miller said. Miller said a small number of cars would be purchased using equity and others would be bought using debt financing.

The deal builds on a $300m Volvo-Uber alliance announced past year, which is focused on collaborating on the design and financing of cars with self-driving systems and will require different steering and braking features and sensors. Uber will be adding its own sensors and software to these cars so that they can drive themselves.

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