As part of a partnership that started in 2016, Volvo and Uber have presented an autonomous XC90. Jointly developed by the two companies, it’s a production ready model equipped with smart systems that allow it to drive on its own.
The Swedish SUV has been fitted with what the Swedish automaker calls “key safety features” that have allowed the ride-hailing firm to easily install their own self-driving system.
Safety is paramount for Volvo, so the vehicle gets several back-up systems for steering and braking, as well as battery back-up power. In case something goes wrong with the primary systems, these will bring the XC90 to a stop immediately. Some of the sensors mounted on top and built into the SUV facilitate self-driving in urban environments.
“Working in close cooperation with companies like Volvo is a key ingredient to effectively building a safe, scalable, self-driving fleet”, said Uber Advanced Technologies Group’s CEO, Eric Meyhofer. “Volvo has long been known for its commitment to safety, which is the cornerstone of its newest production-ready, self-driving base vehicle. When paired with our self-driving technology, this vehicle will be a key ingredient in Uber’s autonomous product suit.”
The joint agreement is beneficial for both companies. Volvo will launch self-driving cars in the early 2020s and wants to become a major player in this segment, while Uber’s goal is to offer reliable autonomous ride sharing without the need of a Mission Specialist.
“We believe autonomous-drive technology will allow us to further improve safety, the foundation of our company”, commented Volvo’s CEO, Hakan Samuelsson. “By the middle of next decade, we expect one-third of all cars we sell to be fully autonomous. Our agreement with Uber underlines our ambition to be the supplier of choice to the world’s leading ride-hailing companies.”