The two firms have signed an agreement to start work on a joint venture that will develop new base vehicles that can incorporate the very latest in AD (Autonomous Driving) technology that will include fully driverless cars. These base vehicles will be manufactured by Volvo Cars and then purchased by Uber. A total of 300m US Dollars is being invested into the project by Uber and Volvo.
This new base vehicle will be based on Volvo Cars’ fully modular SPA or Scalable Platform Architecture. The SPA platform is one of the most advanced architectures in the world and is currently used on the top of the line XC90, S90 and V90 estate. It is thought that initially, the base model will be based on the award winning XC90
Both companies have a head start and have already been testing autonomous technology for years with Volvo testing in Gothenburg and have been given the okay to test in London from 2017. Uber are trialling there tech in the states currently.
Here is what the Volvo and Uber car could look like
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.”
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.”
Ultimately in the future, Uber could see its drivers replaced with fully autonomous vehicles with help from Volvo.