The two companies have entered a 411M joint venture to develop new vehicles that will be able to incorporate the latest developments in AD technologies, including fully autonomous driverless cars.
Both Uber and Volvo will use the same base vehicle for the next stage of their own autonomous car strategies. This will involve Uber adding its own self-developed autonomous driving systems to the vehicle.
Coby Duggan NZ national manager said the strategic alliance will see a blending of revolutionary technologies.
“Volvo has a history of forming synergistic partnerships which integrate new types of technology into vehicles. This new venture will take the development of fully autonomous vehicles a stage further, and into a new segment of the transport industry.”
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 sector, 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.
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.”
The new base vehicle will be developed on Volvo’s fully modular Scalable Product Architecture (SPA). SPA is one of the most advanced car architectures in the world and is currently used on Volvo Cars’ award winning XC90 SUV, as well as the S90 premium sedan and V90 premium estate.
SPA has been developed as part of Volvo’s 15bn global industrial transformation programme, 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.
The development work will be conducted by Volvo 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.