Uber just ordered 24000 self-driving cars from Volvo

Uber just ordered 24000 self-driving cars from Volvo

It has retrofitted the test cars with sensors and autonomous driving hardware to enable them to drive on their own.

The agreement envisages that the pick-up service will purchase the vehicles over the course of three years beginning in 2019.

The new agreement enhances the strategic partnership between Volvo and Uber that was announced in August 2016.

The statement said that "Volvo Cars' engineers have worked closely together with engineers from Uber to develop the XC90 premium SUVs that are to be supplied to Uber".

Combining Volvo's cars with Uber's self-driving system builds on their almost three-year relationship and comes as Uber's autonomous driving unit has been hit by a lawsuit over trade secrets and the departure of top talent.

She said the new agreement puts Uber on the path toward rolling out mass-produced autonomous cars at scale.

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But the non-exclusive nature of the agreement means Volvo will continue developing its own autonomous systems, independent of Uber.

Miller said the company hasn't determined which cities the self-driving Volvos will operate in, but noted that the company's initial focus will likely be in the United States, where Uber has test fleets in San Francisco, Phoenix and Pittsburgh.

"The automotive industry is being disrupted by technology and Volvo Cars chooses to be an active part of that disruption", said Volvo's president and chief executive Hakan Samuelson. The base vehicles incorporate all necessary safety, redundancy and core autonomous driving technologies that are required for Uber to add its own self-driving technology.

The initiative has faced questions since Alphabet Inc.'s driverless auto division Waymo sued Uber this year, claiming the ride-hailing company stole trade secrets, and since the U.S. Justice Department opened an inquiry into the matter.

Uber aims to eventually give driver-free passenger rides, which is the only way such a service would be economically feasible.

"We don't know exactly how an autonomous world will look".

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