Uber makes self-driving auto deal with Volvo

Uber makes self-driving auto deal with Volvo

Uber makes self-driving auto deal with Volvo

Volvo and Uber began a partnership a year ago, and the automaker has said it plans to introduce a fully self-driving vehicle for the public in 2021. It has inked an agreement with Sweden's Volvo to purchase 24,000 XC90 sport utility vehicles which will form its fleet of self-driving cars. It would be the first of its kind.

The agreement is part of automaker's mission "to be the supplier of choice for AD ride-sharing service providers globally", said Håkan Samuelsson, Volvo's president and CEO.

The announcement also comes ahead of some uncertainty for Uber's self-driving technology development. The exact terms of the deal weren't initially disclosed, but an Uber spokesperson confirmed to Mashable via email that the fleet size will be around 24,000 vehicles.

A recent tribunal ruled that Uber's drivers qualify as workers, which means they qualify for rights such as the minimum wage and holiday pay, a move that the company says could fundamentally damage the way it operates. Volvo said the base vehicles incorporate all necessary safety, redundancy and core autonomous driving technologies and will be ready for Uber to add their own self-driving tech.

Uber would not share financial information about the project, and Volvo did not immediately respond to a request for further comment.

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

The American ride-hailing app also halted its pilot programme for self-driving cars pending an investigation into a crash of an Uber autonomous vehicle in Arizona in March.

"We're moving aggressively", Jeff Miller, Uber's head of automotive alliances, said.

The initiative has faced questions since Alphabet Inc.'s driverless vehicle 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. "But we know that we want to be the platform that's at the centre of it, from a ridesharing standpoint".

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