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Uber orders up to 24000 Volvo SUVs for its self-driving fleet

21 November 2017

The autonomous fleet is small compared with the more than 2 million people who drive for Uber but reflects a commitment to the company's strategy of developing self-driving cars. The order, however, could account for about 4.5 percent of Volvo's current total sales, based on 2016 figures, and is estimated to be worth just over $1 billion, an expert said. "[This] agreement with Uber is a primary example of that strategic direction".

And you never know; if the Uber you "hail" doesn't have a driver, it may actually turn up exactly where you want it to. Volvo must not of cared too much about that debacle, however, as Uber is now buying 24,000 XC90 SVUs from it to form new, large fleet of driverless vehicles. The XC90 is the base of Uber's latest-generation self-driving test auto, which features sensors and autonomous driving computing capability installed by Uber after purchase on the XC90 vehicle. The deal is valued at approximately $1.4 billion; each XC90 is priced at $46,900 in the USA, according to Financial Times.

"We are open to deliver to more taxi companies", Volvo Cars CEO Hakan Samuelsson told Swedish financial newspaper Dagens Industri.

The base vehicles "incorporate all necessary safety, redundancy and core autonomous driving technologies that are required for Uber to add its own self-driving technology", the statement said.

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The deal builds on a $300 million alliance Volvo announced with Uber a year ago focused on collaborating on the design and financing of cars with self-driving systems, which require different steering and braking features and sensors. Uber will modify the XC90s with autonomous technology developed by its self-driving division, the Advanced Technologies Group.

Uber has already been testing autonomous vehicles in Arizona, San Francisco, and Pittsburgh.

Volvo's agreement with Uber and Ford's with Lyft show the pressure on automakers to avoid becoming obsolete in a world of increased automation, and on ride-services companies to start automating to cut driver costs and turn profits.

Uber orders up to 24000 Volvo SUVs for its self-driving fleet