Uber orders up to 24000 Volvo SUVs for its self-driving fleet

Randall Padilla
November 21, 2017

Volve is expected to deliver the vehicles between 2019 and 2021, paving the way for Uber to greatly expand its self-driving programs. "Our aim is to be the supplier of choice for [autonomous driving] ride-sharing service providers globally".

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. Uber has been offering autonomous auto rides in Ford Fusion and other vehicles for over a year in Pittsburgh.

"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.

Uber and Volvo have not disclosed financial terms, but have confirmed that the deal is "non-exclusive" - meaning both are free to form similar partnerships with others.

Moreover, the deal marks a potentially major shift in Uber's strategy; from a taxi app to an operator of a fleet of cars.

The purchase highlights the delicate line Uber has been forced to walk as it pursues driverless technology while also trying to keep its current workforce of more than 2 million drivers happy.

This latest news follows a 2016 agreement between the two companies, which saw Uber adding its own self-driving systems to a Volvo base vehicle.

The company Uber will purchase 24,000 crossover Volvo XC90, which are already tested as taxis in the States of Arizona and Pennsylvania.

As Miller indicated to FT, there's a lot of variability built into the contract between Volvo and Uber, where 24,000 is an intial order and a "best guess".

The company has also been testing the self-driving prototype Volvo vehicle for more than a year now.

This isn't the first time Uber and Volvo have worked together. 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.

Other reports by AllAboutTopnews

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