Car maker Volvo has signed an MOU with ride sharing company Uber, to supply autonomous driving compatible base vehicles between 2019 and 2021. The number of vehicles supplied are likely to run into ‘tens of thousands’ and will make Uber eventually own cars rather than just be aggregators.
The base vehicles will be developed on Volvo’s Scalable Product Architecture (SPA) that is currently used for the 90 series cars as well as on the new XC60 midsize SUV. The non-exclusive agreement takes the strategic partnership announced in August 2016 between Volvo and Uber, one step further.
Volvo has been at the forefront of research & development in the autonomous driving technology and aims to be the supplier of choice for AD ride-sharing service providers globally. The company is working closely with engineers from Uber to develop the XC90 premium SUVs that are to be supplied to Uber. The vehicles incorporate all necessary safety, redundancy and core autonomous driving technologies that are required for Uber to add its own self-driving technology.
Volvo will use the same base vehicle in the development of its own independent autonomous car strategy, which is planned to culminate in the release of its first fully autonomous car in 2021.