Uber to buy 24000 Volvo SUVs for its driverless fleet

21 November, 2017, 00:59 | Author: Lester Mason
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           Volvo to deliver thousands of autonomous vehicles to Uber
        By Marc Carter

Uber has agreed to a deal with Volvo to but thousands of cars in order to prepare a fleet of driverless cars. The base vehicles feature core autonomous driving technologies that will enable Uber to add its own automation features as well, Volvo says.

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

One expert said the announcement "makes a good headline" but had doubts that fully autonomous, driverless Uber rides would be ready to begin until some years later. Uber has struck a new deal with Volvo that will see the latter produce tens of thousands of SUVs that Uber will then outfit with its autonomous driving systems.

"This new agreement puts us on a path towards mass-produced self-driving vehicles at scale". It announced that it will buy up to 24,000 Volvo XC90s, marking the first major vehicle fleet purchase by a ride-hailing service.

Volvo and Uber expand tie-up in race to dominate self-driving cars
Uber plans to purchase 24000 Volvo SUVs in race for self-driving future

Volvo isn't going to do anything on the self-driving front.

"The automotive industry is being disrupted by technology and Volvo Cars chooses to be an active part of that disruption", the post quotes HÃ¥kan Samuelsson, president and chief executive at Volvo as saying.

The company is also testing the vehicle in Arizona, San Francisco and Pittsburgh along with a safety driver to help refine and improve their software.

Uber has just taken another big step from a ride-sharing service to a transportation provider. Uber will be purchasing the vehicles between 2019 and 2021, staggering the rollout over multiple years. Volvo told Reuters it would sell the XC90s to Uber at roughly the same profit margin it sells through dealers, suggesting Uber's total purchase could top $1 billion. The initiative has faced questions since Alphabet Inc.'s driverless auto division Waymo sued Uber this year, claiming the ride-hailing company stole trade secrets, and since the U.S. Justice Department opened an inquiry into the matter.

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