Volvo and Uber reveal production-ready autonomous XC90
Volvo and Uber have jointly developed and revealed a production-ready autonomous Volvo XC90 that uses Uber’s own self-driving technology.
Volvo and Uber have been working on a self-driving vehicle since 2016 and overnight the two companies showed off the fruits of their labours. Meet the production-read, self-driving Volvo XC90.
“The Volvo XC90 SUV presented today is the first production car that in combination with Uber’s self-driving system is capable of fully driving itself,” Volvo said in a statement.
Don’t get too excited because there’s no plan for this autonomous-capable XC90 to hit the streets anytime soon. “The XC90 base vehicle is equipped with key safety features that allow Uber to easily install its own self-driving system, enabling the possible future deployment of self-driving cars in Uber’s network as an autonomous ridesharing service,” Volvo said.
“The most important features of Volvo Cars’ autonomous drive-ready production vehicle include several back-up systems for both steering and braking functions, as well as battery back-up power. If any of the primary systems should fail for some reason, the back-up systems are designed to immediately act to bring the car to a stop.
“In addition to Volvo’s built-in back-up systems, an array of sensors atop and built into the vehicle are designed for Uber’s self-driving system to safely operate and manoeuvre in an urban environment.”
So, while this self-driving Volvo won’t be on the road next week, Volvo has revealed that Uber has committed to the “delivery of tens of thousands of autonomous drive-ready base cars in the coming years”.
“We believe autonomous-drive technology will allow us to further improve safety, the foundation of our company,” said Håkan Samuelsson, President and Chief Executive of Volvo Cars. “By the middle of the 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.”
“Working in close cooperation with companies like Volvo is a key ingredient to effectively building a safe, scalable, self-driving fleet,” said Eric Meyhofer, CEO of Uber Advanced Technologies Group. “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 suite.”
More than just providing a base self-driving vehicle for Uber, Volvo said it plans to use a similar autonomous base vehicle concept for its own autonomous vehicles which it plans to roll out in the early 2020s. The tech will be implemented onto next-generation Volvos built on the SPA2 platform and “enable unsupervised autonomous drive in clearly designated areas such as highways and ring roads”.