The XC90 SUVs are to be "base" vehicles, which incorporate a degree of autonomous capability but which are created to have Uber's proprietary driverless tech added on top.
The deal is an extension of an agreement that Uber made with Volvo almost two years ago, when the ride-hailing company started its research and development efforts in autonomous vehicles in earnest.
Volvo's and Uber's longstanding partnership is an example of automakers and car-service tech firms teaming up to advance self-driving technology to open up what is expected to be a multi-billion-dollar business. Uber and its investors have been itching for some good news and it appears that this partnership with Volvo is a great signs for its future. "This new agreement puts us on a path towards mass produced self-driving vehicles at scale", Jeff Miller, head of auto alliances at Uber said in a statement.
Volvo, which is on track for a fourth consecutive year of record sales, appears very pleased with the deal which helps pad their reputation in the world of automation, as well as their wallets.
Uber has just taken another big step from a ride-sharing service to a transportation provider.
Uber's new fleet of XC90s will go further than the existing test vehicles, in that they will incorporate redundant systems for braking and steering that will allow them to operate without a human safety driver on board. Delivery of the vehicles is set to begin in 2019, with Uber calling up vehicles each month through 2021.
Uber said it is testing self-driving XC90 models in Pittsburgh, San Francisco and Arizona, and intends to purchase and use specially-modified Mercedes-Benz vehicles as well.
This isn't the first time Uber and Volvo have worked together. Uber has also made deals with Ford and Daimler.
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