Uber and Volvo strike deal for 24000 self-drive cars

Volvo and Uber expand tie-up in race to dominate self-driving cars

The XC90s, priced from $46,900 at US dealers, will be delivered from 2019 to 2021 in the first commercial purchase by a ride-hailing provider, Volvo said in a statement Monday. That company has negotiated deals with several manufacturers, including General Motors and, more recently, Ford Motor Co., that will put some of their autonomous vehicles into fleet testing and eventual commercial application.

Bloomberg reported the figure at 24,000 vehicles, to be delivered between 2019 and 2021.

The agreement, which is non-exclusive, is the next step in a partnership between Uber and Volvo Cars that began in August 2016, and marks a new chapter in the convergence of auto makers and Silicon Valley-based technology companies.

Volvo added that engineers from both companies developed the XC90 premium SUVs that are supplied to Uber.

The non-exclusive agreement enhances the strategic partnership between Volvo Cars and Uber announced in August 2016 and also marks a new chapter in the convergence of vehicle makers and Silicon Valley-based technology companies. The Volvo XC90 is already the base of Uber's current self-driving test vehicle.

Ford announced earlier this year it is working with Uber rival Lyft on a driverless vehicle trial programme, while Chrysler is supplying Pacific hybrids to Google's self-driving arm Waymo for its self-driving taxis trial.

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The base vehicles Volvo will supply incorporates all Volvo's safety and core autonomous capabilities, on top of which Uber will add its own technology to meet its specific needs.

Uber wasn't immediately available to comment, and Volvo deferred questions to Uber.

But with the current status of Uber, it may not be expected for a while.

"Our aim is to be the supplier of choice for AD ride-sharing service providers globally", said HÃ¥kan Samuelsson, president and chief executive of Volvo.

Uber previously launched a self-driving Uber service in San Francisco in December 2016 but was pulled shortly after because the company failed to properly register the 16 vehicles.

Many other brands of autonomous vehicles are planning o land their driverless cars on road.

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