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Volvo Cars and Uber join forces to develop autonomous driving cars

19 August 2016

The joint project will develop new base vehicles that incorporate the latest developments in AD technologies, including fully autonomous driverless cars.

Image courtesy of Volvo Car Group

The base vehicles will be manufactured by Volvo Cars and then purchased from Volvo by Uber. Volvo Cars and Uber are contributing a combined USD 300M to the project.

The Volvo-Uber project marks a significant step in the automotive business with a car manufacturer joining forces with a new Silicon Valley-based entrant to the car industry, underlining the way in which the global automotive industry is evolving in response to the advent of new technologies. The alliance marks the beginning of what both companies view as a longer term industrial partnership.

Håkan Samuelsson, president and chief executive of Volvo Cars, said: “Volvo is a world leader in the development of active safety and autonomous drive technology and possesses an unrivalled 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 Cars’ fully modular Scalable Product Architecture (SPA). SPA is an advanced car architecture and is currently used on Volvo Cars’ top-of-the-line multiple award winning XC90 SUV, as well as the S90 premium sedan and V90 premium estate.

SPA has been developed as part of Volvo Cars’ USD11bn global industrial transformation program, which started in 2010, and has been prepared from the outset for the latest autonomous drive technologies as well as next generation electrification and connectivity developments. It is these capabilities that attracted Uber to Volvo.

The development work will be conducted by Volvo Cars 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.”


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