Uber will purchase 24,000 XC90 SUVs between 2019 and 2021 from Volvo to form a fleet of driverless cars. Volvo Cars has signed a framework agreement with Uber 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 used on Volvo Cars’ top-of-the-line 90 series cars as well as on the new XC60 midsize SUV.
The non-exclusive agreement signed now enhances the strategic partnership between Volvo Cars and Uber announced in August 2016. The two companies last year had established a joint project to develop new base vehicles incorporated with latest developments in AD technologies including fully autonomous driverless cars. According to the agreement both the companies contributed a combined USD 300M to the project and Uber added its own self-developed autonomous driving systems to the Volvo base vehicle.
Apart from Volvo, Uber has also got a partnership with Daimler on the deployment of self-driving cars. Toyota is another company with which Uber is working. It also needs to be noted that the company has signed a non-exclusive partnership with Volvo, so it still has the right to order vehicles from other OEMs if it wants to further expand its fleet.
Recently, Waymo, Alphabet’s autonomous vehicle unit, had announced its plan to launch self-driving taxis. Another company Lyft although a smaller company as compared to Uber is making strides forging partnerships with key companies like Waymo, nuTonomy, and Ford. It has also got investments form some automakers like JLR, GM and Google parent Alphabet. The company is being seen as the main rival of Uber. All these developments and legal tussle with Waymo in the background have forced Uber to up its game.