Uber and Volvo strike deal for 24000 self-drive cars

Uber and Volvo strike deal for 24000 self-drive cars

The autonomous fleet is small compared with the more than 2 million people who drive for Uber but reflects a commitment to the company's strategy of developing self-driving cars. The agreement calls for the company to supply the ride-hailing firm with base model vehicles that come from the factory with "core" autonomous driving technology installed. "Today's agreement with Uber is a primary example of that strategic direction".

But the statement said that "Volvo Cars' engineers have worked closely together with engineers from Uber to develop the XC90 premium SUVs that are to be supplied to Uber".

Uber announced the Volvo deal Monday, according to The New York Times.

"This new agreement puts us on a path towards mass produced self-driving vehicles at scale", said Jeff Miller, Uber's head of automotive partnerships. On top of all that, Uber is embroiled in a lawsuit with Google's Waymo, which accused it of stealing key self-driving tech.

The agreement envisages that the pick-up service will purchase the vehicles over the course of three years beginning in 2019.

The cars, in theory, would be available through the Uber app to pick up passengers - without a driver.

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

Volvo Cars Chief Executive Hakan Samuelsson said, "We believe this is a new segment, a new business".

The news comes weeks after Waymo, Uber's key competitor, began testing driverless cars in Arizona with no back-up driver. Uber also paints the right to order vehicles from other OEMs to help contribute to its fleet as part of the deal.

Uber agreed to use 100 XC90s for self-driving tests in Pittsburgh, while also striking a deal to include autonomous vehicles from Daimler AG's Mercedes-Benz in its network at some point. Uber has also been in talks with SoftBank for a potential $10 billion investment, so this makes Uber's future look strong for the investment.

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