Taking us one step closer to driverless transportation.
Volvo Cars will work with Uber to develop a fleet of autonomous ride-sharing vehicles. The $300 million project will see Volvo developing self-driving vehicles, which Uber will then purchase for use in its ride-sharing fleet.
The autonomous car will be based on the same Volvo Scalable Platform Architecture (SPA) platform used for the XC90, S90, and V90 models. Volvo will sell its own version of the autonomous vehicle, while Uber will take that vehicle and add “its own self-developed autonomous driving systems.”
Though Volvo gives the impression it is developing a new vehicle based on SPA for Uber, these images show how an XC90 crossover could be equipped with sensors for self-driving functions and rebranded with Uber’s marketing logos. Volvo says the SPA platform will be upgraded to have “all needed safety, redundancy and new features required” for autonomous driving.
Engineers from Volvo and Uber will work “in close collaboration,” with both companies describing the deal as a long-term partnership.
Volvo has already invested heavily into developing semi- and fully autonomous technologies. The company is launching a test fleet of autonomous XC90 crossovers in Gothenberg, Sweden, and has publicly promised that by 2020, nobody will be killed or seriously injured in a new Volvo vehicle.
Self-driving ride-sharing cars have huge potential because they could cut out the companies’ biggest costs and liabilities: human drivers. Uber, for its part, is already testing autonomous Ford Fusions. And rival ride-sharing company Lyft is also working on self-driving vehicles, with plans to have autonomous Chevy Bolt EVs testing from next year.