Volvo Cars has signed a framework agreement with Uber to provide “tens of thousands” of autonomous-driving-compatible base vehicles between 2019 and 2021. The base vehicles are developed on Volvo Cars’ fully modular, in-house developed Scalable Product Architecture (SPA). SPA is currently used on Volvo Cars’ 90 series cars as well as on the new XC60 midsize SUV.
The non-exclusive agreement enhances the strategic partnership between Volvo Cars and Uber announced in August 2016. (Earlier post.)
The automotive industry is being disrupted by technology and Volvo Cars chooses to be an active part of that disruption. Our aim is to be the supplier of choice for AD ride-sharing service providers globally. Today’s agreement with Uber is a primary example of that strategic direction.—Håkan Samuelsson, Volvo Cars president and CEO
Volvo Cars’ engineers have worked closely together with engineers from Uber to develop the XC90 premium SUVs that are to be supplied to Uber. 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.
At the same time as providing Uber with AD compatible cars, Volvo will use the same base vehicle in the development of its own independent autonomous car strategy, which is planned to culminate in the release of its first fully autonomous car in 2021.