Volvo will use the same base vehicle for the next stage of its own autonomous car strategy, which will involve fully autonomous driving
Swedish carmaker Volvo has entered a $300m deal with ride-sharing company Uber to develop self-driving vehicles.
The companies have agreed to establish a joint project to develop new base vehicles that will be able to incorporate the latest developments in AD technologies, up to and including fully autonomous driverless cars.
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 Volvo’s base vehicle. Volvo will also use the same base vehicle for the next stage of its own autonomous car strategy, which will involve fully autonomous driving. The base vehicles will be manufactured by Volvo Cars and then purchased from Volvo by Uber.
According to Volvo, the alliance marks the beginning of what both companies view as a long-term industrial partnership. The development work will be conducted by Volvo Cars’ engineers and Uber engineers in close collaboration.
“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,” said Travis Kalanick, CEO of Uber. “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.”
The new base vehicle will be developed on Volvo fully modular scalable product architecture (SPA) currently used on its XC90 SUV, as well as the S90 premium sedan and V90 premium estate.
SPA has been developed as part of Volvo Cars’ $11bn global industrial transformation programme, which began in 2010, and has been prepared from the outset for the latest autonomous drive technologies as well as next generation electrification and connectivity developments, Volvo said in a press statement.
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.