Volvo has signed an agreement with Uber to sell tens of thousands of autonomous driving compatible base vehicles between 2019 and 2021.
The base vehicles are developed on Volvo’s fully modular, in-house developed Scalable Product Architecture (SPA).
SPA is one of the most advanced car architectures in the world and is currently used on Volvo’s 90 series cars as well as on the new XC60 midsize SUV.
The non-exclusive agreement enhances the strategic partnership between Volvo and Uber announced in August 2016 and also marks a new chapter in the convergence of car makers and Silicon Valley-based technology companies.
Håkan Samuelsson, Volvo president says, “The automotive industry is being disrupted by technology and Volvo 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, the agreement with Uber is a primary example of that strategic direction.”
Volvo’s engineers have worked closely together with engineers from Uber to develop the XC90 premium SUVs that are to be supplied to Uber.
The base vehicles incorporate all necessary safety, redundancy and core autonomous driving technologies that are required for Uber to add its own self-driving technology.
Jeff Miller, Uber head of auto alliances says, “We’re thrilled to expand our partnership with Volvo.
“This new agreement puts us on a path towards mass-produced self-driving vehicles at scale.”
At the same time as providing Uber with AD compatible cars, Volvo will use the same base vehicle in the development of its own independent autonomous car strategy, which is planned to culminate in the release of its first fully autonomous car in 2021.