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Volvo to supply autonomous-driving-compatible cars to Uber

Date: 21 November 2017   |   Author: Rachel Boagey

Volvo has signed a framework agreement with Uber to sell tens of thousands of autonomous-driving (AD)-compatible base vehicles between 2019 and 2021.

The base vehicles are developed on Volvo's fully modular, in-house-developed Scalable Product Architecture (SPA). SPA is currently used on the company's 90 series cars as well as on the new XC60 mid-size SUV.

The non-exclusive agreement enhances the strategic partnership between Volvo and Uber announced in August 2016. 

"The automotive industry is being disrupted by technology, and Volvo Cars chooses to be an active part of that disruption," said Håkan Samuelsson, president and chief executive of Volvo Cars. "Our aim is to be the supplier of choice for AD ride-sharing service providers globally. Today's agreement with Uber is a primary example of that strategic direction."

The manufacturer says its engineers have worked closely with Uber to develop the XC90 premium SUVs that are to be supplied to the ride-sharing firm.

The base vehicles incorporate all the necessary safety, redundancy and core autonomous driving technologies that are required for Uber to add its own self-driving technology.

"We're thrilled to expand our partnership with Volvo," said Jeff Miller, head of auto alliances at Uber. "This new agreement puts us on a path towards mass-produced self-driving vehicles at scale."

At the same time as providing Uber with AD-compatible cars, 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 AD vehicle in 2021.