The non-exclusive agreement between Volvo and Uber follows last year’s announcement of a strategic partnership between the two firms, which resulted in 100 autonomous XC90s being used by Uber in a driverless taxi trial in Pittsburgh, US.
This latest move is a result of engineers from both companies developing the self-driving XC90 models that will be supplied to Uber.
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Volvo said the vehicles “incorporate all the necessary safety, redundancy and core autonomous driving technologies that are required for Uber to add its own self-driving technology”.
Volvo boss Håkan Samuelsson said its aim is "to be the supplier of choice for autonomous-driving, ride-sharing service providers globally. Today’s agreement with Uber is a primary example of that strategic direction.”
Uber partnerships chief Jeff Miller added: “This new agreement puts us on a path towards mass-produced self-driving vehicles at scale.”
Car makers teaming up with car-sharing firms are becoming more and more commonplace. Manufacturers are trying to position themselves at the forefront of a new era of getting around, rather than just focusing on traditional car-buying models. It is also a good opportunity to rack up autonomous miles in their respective vehicles.
Ford announced earlier this year it is working with Uber rival Lyft on a driverless car trial programme, while Chrysler is supplying Pacific hybrids to Google’s self-driving arm Waymo for its self-driving taxis trial.
Meanwhile, Volvo is independently testing the waters of car-sharing with its new subscription service Care by Volvo which will be offered on the XC40 as well as the Polestar 1 coupé, the first car from its new performance sub-brand. Users of the subscription service, who will pay a set fee each month for the car, will be able to share the car via an app with a handful of friends or family.
Volvo digital boss Atif Rafiq told Autocar earlier this year: “You can imagine lending to a stranger. We need to develop the network, for example, by having a car fleet that we own.
“If you’re a car company and you’re not thinking about car sharing, there’s a problem."