Uber to Buy Self-Driving Volvos

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From Rebecca Lindland, executive analyst for Kelley Blue Book: Volvo's involvement in autonomous vehicle development may help to alleviate the trust issue that some consumers have with this technology, since Volvo is tops in perceptions of safety in our Brandwatch survey.

"Our aim is to be the supplier of choice for AD ride-sharing service providers globally".

He added that the deal with Uber was a "primary example of that strategic direction".

The deal is non-exclusive, and Volvo hopes to sell its base vehicles to Uber's competitors.

As well as providing Uber with vehicles to work on its autonomous plans, Volvo will also use the coming years to improve its own self-driving technology.

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"Our goal was from day one to make investments into a vehicle that could be manufactured at scale", Jeff Miller, Uber's head of automotive alliances, said. The company plans to release of its first fully autonomous auto in 2021.

The base vehicles are developed on Volvo Cars' fully modular, in-house developed Scalable Product Architecture (SPA).

Earlier this year, Uber's rival Lyft revealed partnerships with Alphabet's Waymo, Ford and startups Nutonomy and Drive.ai to bring self-driving cars into its fleet.

Following a USA trial involving 100 autonomous XC90s being used as driverless taxis in the Pittsburgh area, Volvo has signed an agreement with Uber to supply the taxi firm with 24,000 self-driving XC90s from 2019. "We are open to deliver to more taxi companies", Volvo Cars CEO Hakan Samuelsson told Swedish financial newspaper Dagens Industri.

Monday's deal between Uber and Volvo unveils the beginning of a multibillion-dollar robot uprising that could reshape how people get from one place to another. Volvo is owned by Chinese company Gheely Holding. Many younger consumers are ready to embrace autonomous vehicle features, but older consumers may need the reassurance that the Volvo brand provides to try out self-driving vehicles.