Uber is making a huge leap into the world of self-driving cars after purchasing 24,000 Volvo XC90 SUVs with plans to make them autonomous. Via a statement, Uber’s head of auto alliances Jeff Miller said, “This new agreement puts us on a path towards mass produced self-driving vehicles at scale.” This makes this seem like it’s only the beginning of what could be a complete shift in how Uber functions.
Uber has been testing self-driving Volvos on the streets of Pittsburgh, as they have had a partnership with Volvo since 2016. The company also has a fleet of self-driving Ford Fusions.
Volvo also plans to release their own self-driving car by 2021, which will also use the same base model which is currently in development. Volvo president and CEO Håkan Samuelsson said,
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.
Uber’s autonomous vehicle efforts have not had much success so far due to a variety of incidents involving their self-driving cars. This includes an accident that happened in Arizona earlier this year in which an autonomous Uber vehicle got into a pretty drastic crash. We’ll have to see if the company’s efforts with these Volvo SUVs will be able to improve upon their poor history with self-driving cars.
[via The Verge]