Uber just made its biggest move yet to adopt self-driving cars

21 November, 2017, 01:14 | Author: Sheri Evans
  • Volvo and Uber expand tie-up in race to dominate self-driving cars

Uber's Volvo XC90 self-driving vehicle is shown during a demonstration of self-driving automotive technology in Pittsburgh in 2016.

Uber agreed to buy 24,000 SUVs from Volvo to form a fleet of driverless vehicles, a signal that the company remains committed to autonomous cars under newly appointed CEO Dara Khosrowshahi.

So past year Volvo partnered with Uber to deliver the XC90 to the ride firm to add their own self-driving capabilities and trial the whole thing out in Pittsburgh. It would be the first of its kind.

The deal between Volvo, owned by China's Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co., and Uber is a framework agreement without financial terms.

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Swedish automaker Volvo in the contract will put Uber at about 24,000 vehicles equipped with unmanned technologies.

Uber was thrown into disarray earlier this year when Transport for London (TfL) refused to renew its licence to operate in the British capital due to concerns about public safety for passengers and the process of driver registration.

That includes Uber, which Monday announced a new deal with Volvo. "Our goal was from day one to make investments into a vehicle that could be manufactured at scale", Jeff Miller, Uber's head of automotive alliances, said.

Uber is already testing 200 of the automaker's cars in San Francisco, Pittsburgh and Tempe, Ariz.

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Uber has just taken another big step from a ride-sharing service to a transportation provider.

Volvo has done a deal with taxi firm Uber to supply tens of thousands of autonomous driving-compatible XC90 SUVs between 2019 and 2021. The base vehicles feature core autonomous driving technologies that will enable Uber to add its own automation features as well, Volvo says.

If you're thinking about making ends meet as an Uber driver that might not be a good long-term career option with the ride-hailing services moving quickly towards becoming a self-driving auto business. "But we know that we want to be the platform that's at the centre of it, from a ridesharing standpoint".

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