Uber and Volvo have announced a partnership to work on self-driving car technologies, each contributing to a funding pot of $300m.
The firms said that their efforts will create a new ‘base vehicle’ that will be able to incorporate the latest self-driving car technology being developed by both firms, as Uber looks to create its own fleet of cars that can work alongside its human drivers.
Volvo explained that the vehicle will be based on the company's fully modular Scalable Product Architecture that has already been used for the XC90 SUV, S90 premium sedan and V90 premium estate, suggesting that a mix of vehicle types may well end up being developed.
Uber and Volvo said that the partnership is a notable alliance between a traditional car manufacturer and a tech giant, and should enable both firms to benefit from the other's expertise, as Håkan Samuelsson, president and chief executive of Volvo Cars, explained.
“Volvo is a world leader in the development of active safety and autonomous drive technology and possesses an unrivalled safety credibility,” he said.
“We are very proud to be the partner of choice for Uber, one of the world’s leading technology companies. This alliance places Volvo at the heart of the current technological revolution in the automotive industry.”
Uber chief executive Travis Kalanick added that improving self-driving car technology to the level where it is better and safer than human drivers is vital in reducing unnecessary road deaths.
“Over one million people die in car accidents every year. These are tragedies that self-driving technology can help solve, but we can’t do this alone. That’s why our partnership with a great manufacturer like Volvo is so important,” he said.
“Volvo is a leader in vehicle development and best-in-class when it comes to safety. By combining the capabilities of Uber and Volvo we will get to the future faster, together.”
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