Swedish automaker, Volvo and the world’s leading ride-sharing company, Uber, are joining forces to develop the next generation autonomous driving cars.
Both Volvo and Uber have signed an agreement to establish a joint project that will develop new base vehicles that will be able to incorporate the latest developments in autonomous driving technologies, up to and including fully autonomous driverless cars. The base vehicles will be manufactured by Volvo and then purchased from Volvo by Uber. Volvo and Uber are contributing a combined USD 300M in this project.
Both Uber and Volvo will use the same base vehicle for the next stage of their own autonomous car strategies. This will involve Uber adding its own self-developed autonomous driving systems to the Volvo base vehicle. Volvo will use the same base vehicle for the next stage of its own autonomous car strategy, which will involve fully autonomous driving.
Håkan Samuelsson, president and chief executive of Volvo, said, “Volvo is a world leader in the development of active safety and autonomous drive technology and possesses an unrivaled safety credibility. We are very proud to be the partner of choice for Uber, one of the world’s leading technology companies. This alliance places Volvo at the heart of the current technological revolution in the automotive industry.”
The new base vehicle will be developed on Volvo’ Scalable Product Architecture (SPA). SPA is currently used on Volvo Cars’ top-of-the-line XC90 SUV, as well as the S90 premium sedan and V90 premium estate.
The development work will be conducted by Volvo engineers and Uber engineers in close collaboration. This project will further add to the scalability of the SPA platform to include all needed safety, redundancy and new features required to have autonomous vehicles on the road.
Travis Kalanick, Uber’s chief executive, said, “Over one million people die in car accidents every year. These are tragedies that self-driving technology can help solve, but we can’t do this alone. That’s why our partnership with a great manufacturer like Volvo is so important. Volvo is a leader in vehicle development and best-in-class when it comes to safety. By combining the capabilities of Uber and Volvo we will get to the future faster, together.”