Volvo and Uber are partnering to put "tens of thousands" of autonomous capable vehicles into the company's rideshare fleet, beginning in 2019.
Volvo calls the vehicles "autonomous driving compatible base vehicles." What does that mean, exactly?
Volvo is supplying the technology, not the "self-driving system." It's not clear where exactly the line between the Uber supplied system and the Volvo supplied "core autonomous driving technologies" is, but it seems likely that Volvo is supplying the hardware and Uber is telling it what to do. The companies have been in a self-drive partnership for three years, developing software and hardware systems.
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The deal will see up to 24,000 Volvos added to the fleet of ride-sharing Ubers around the world between 2019 and 2021. The vehicles will be XC90 SUVs, which Uber is already using in autonomous testing in Arizona and Pennsylvania. The test vehicles still require a human driver for safety.
The order would be the largest order of Volvos ever. It would also be the first fleet of commercial vehicles to be owned by the ride-share company.
Volvo will continue to develop their own autonomous driving technology and plan to release their own fully autonomous car in 2021.