Uber adding 24000 self-driving Volvo XC90s to its fleet

Posted November 21, 2017

So previous year Volvo partnered with Uber to deliver the XC90 to the ride firm to add their own self-driving capabilities and trial the whole thing out in Pittsburgh. The ride-hailing company has long depended on drivers, which the company treats as independent contractors, to make up its fleet, but the next few years will likely see a flood of Uber-owned driverless vehicles taking the streets.

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 is making a significant investment into the driverless vehicles.

Uber announced the Volvo deal Monday, according to The New York Times.

Swedish automaker Volvo in the contract will put Uber at about 24,000 vehicles equipped with unmanned technologies. Uber will add its own sensors and software to permit pilot-less driving.

2017 Volvo XC90
Uber plans to purchase 24000 Volvo SUVs in race for self-driving future

Volvo, meanwhile, says the project will help it reach its own goal: being the "supplier of choice" for ride-sharing service providers around the world.

If you're thinking about making ends meet as an Uber driver that might not be a good long-term career option with the ride-hailing services moving quickly towards becoming a self-driving vehicle business.

The XC90 will take a testing period with safety driver and then the company will make a test of the vehicle running without safety driver so as to check whether the auto is able to give proper autonomous driving.

"The automotive industry is being disrupted by technology and Volvo Cars choose to be an active part of that disruption", said the Chief Executive Officer Hana Samuelson.

The first taxis from the deal will be built in Volvo's factory in Sweden but the company plans to produce the vehicles in the U.S. China's Volvo is also building a new factory just outside Charleston, South Carolina. Uber's US$70 billion valuation already puts the group nearly on a par with Mercedes-Benz parent company Daimler.