Volvo Cars to supply tens of thousands of autonomous-drive-compatible cars to Uber
By: +David Herron; Date: November 21, 2017
Uber is taking a step closer to eliminating those pesky humans driving cars for Uber. Volvo is supplying a fleet of cars to Uber, which Uber will use to develop self-driving cars. At the same time Volvo will use the same base vehicle for its own autonomous car development work. What Uber looks to do is to develop cars that drive themselves around a city, so that Uber doesn't have to hire humans to do that work.
Volvo Cars, the premium car maker, has signed a framework agreement with Uber, the ride sharing company, to sell tens of thousands of autonomous driving compatible base vehicles between 2019 and 2021.
The base vehicles are developed on Volvo Cars’ fully modular, in-house developed Scalable Product Architecture (SPA). SPA is one of the most advanced car architectures in the world and is currently used on Volvo Cars’ top-of-the-line 90 series cars as well as on the new XC60 midsize SUV.
The non-exclusive agreement enhances the strategic partnership between Volvo Cars and Uber announced in August 2016 and also marks a new chapter in the convergence of car makers and Silicon Valley-based technology companies.
“The automotive industry is being disrupted by technology and Volvo Cars chooses to be an active part of that disruption,” said Håkan Samuelsson, president and chief executive. “Our aim is to be the supplier of choice for AD ride-sharing service providers globally. Today’s agreement with Uber is a primary example of that strategic direction.”
Volvo Cars’ engineers have worked closely together with engineers from Uber to develop the XC90 premium SUVs that are to be supplied to Uber. The base vehicles incorporate all necessary safety, redundancy and core autonomous driving technologies that are required for Uber to add its own self-driving technology.
“We’re thrilled to expand our partnership with Volvo,” said Jeff Miller, Head of Auto Alliances, Uber. “This new agreement puts us on a path towards mass produced self-driving vehicles at scale.”
At the same time as providing Uber with AD compatible cars, Volvo will use the same base vehicle in the development of its own independent autonomous car strategy, which is planned to culminate in the release of its first fully autonomous car in 2021.
Volvo Car Group in 2016
For the 2016 financial year, Volvo Car Group recorded an operating profit of 11,014 MSEK (6,620 MSEK in 2015). Revenue over the period amounted to 180,672 MSEK (164,043 MSEK). For the full year 2016, global sales reached a record 534,332 cars, an increase of 6.2 per cent versus 2015. The record sales and operating profit cleared the way for Volvo Car Group to continue investing in its global transformation plan.
About Volvo Car Group
Volvo has been in operation since 1927. Today, Volvo Cars is one of the most well-known and respected car brands in the world with sales of 534,332 cars in 2016 in about 100 countries. Volvo Cars has been under the ownership of the Zhejiang Geely Holding (Geely Holding) of China since 2010. It formed part of the Swedish Volvo Group until 1999, when the company was bought by Ford Motor Company of the US. In 2010, Volvo Cars was acquired by Geely Holding.
As of December 2016, Volvo Cars had over 31,000 employees worldwide. Volvo Cars head office, product development, marketing and administration functions are mainly located in Gothenburg, Sweden. Volvo Cars head office for China is located in Shanghai. The company’s main car production plants are located in Gothenburg (Sweden), Ghent (Belgium), Chengdu and Daqing (China), while engines are manufactured in Skövde (Sweden) and Zhangjiakou (China) and body components in Olofström (Sweden).