Volvo Cars said it has signed a framework agreement with Uber to sell tens of thousands of autonomous driving-compatible base vehicles between 2019 and 2021.
The vehicles are being developed on Volvo Cars’ Scalable Product Architecture (SPA), which is currently used on Volvo’s 90-series cars and the new XC60 mid-size SUV. The non-exclusive agreement strengthens the strategic partnership between Volvo Cars and Uber, which was announced in August of last year.
“The automotive industry is being disrupted by technology and Volvo Cars chooses to be an active part of that disruption,” said Håkan Samuelsson, Volvo president and chief executive. “Our aim is to be the supplier of choice for AD ride-sharing service providers globally.”
Volvo engineers have worked closely with engineers from Uber to develop the XC90 SUVs that will be supplied to Uber. The base vehicles incorporate all necessary safety, redundancy and core autonomous driving technologies required for Uber to add its own self-driving technology, according to Volvo.
“We’re thrilled to expand our partnership with Volvo,” said Jeff Miller, head of auto alliances at Uber. “This new agreement puts us on a path towards mass-produced self-driving vehicles at scale.”
While providing Uber with autonomous driving-compatible cars, Volvo will also use the same base vehicle to develop the automaker’s own autonomous car strategy. Volvo plans to release its first fully autonomous car in 2021.