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Volvo and Uber have presented a self-driving car, hailed as the next step in the strategic collaboration between both companies.

Volvo and Uber self driving car
Volvo Cars and Uber present production vehicle ready for self-driving

Swedish car giant Volvo and Uber, a car rental app major, have revealed the latest outcome of their collaboration: a production-spec autonomous vehicle based on a Volvo XC90 SUV, the first production car that, in combination with Uber’s self-driving system, is fully capable of driving itself. The Volvo XC90 is already equipped with several key semi- and fully-autonomous safety features that allowed Uber to easily install their own self-driving system, enabling the possible future deployment of self-driving cars in Uber’s network as an autonomous ride-sharing service.

The most important features of Volvo’s autonomous drive-ready production vehicle include several back-up systems for both steering and braking functions as well as back-up battery power. If any of the primary systems should fail, for whatever reason, the back-up systems are designed to immediately act to bring the car to a stop. Additionally, the car also gets an array of sensors atop and built into the vehicle that are designed to safely operate and manoeuvre in an urban city.

“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.”

The autonomous drive-capable production vehicle revealed is part of a 2016 commercial agreement between Volvo and Uber for the delivery of thousands of autonomous drive-ready base cars in the coming years. Since then, they have come up with several prototypes of the same. At present, Volvo Cars plan to use a similar autonomous base vehicle concept for the introduction of their future autonomous drive cars early next decade.

Story: Koustubh Mukherjee


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