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Autonomous Cars Get Stamp of Approval From Volvo and Uber

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author photo by Lindsay Martell August 2016

Uber and Volvo are taking autonomous or automated driving to the next level thanks to a groundbreaking new partnership.

The Swedish carmaker and the world's leading ride-sharing company have signed on to develop new base vehicles that will utilize the latest tech developments for autonomous cars, including entirely driverless vehicles.

Hefty Project, Hefty Dollars

Volvo will create the base cars, and Uber will purchase them from the carmaker. The companies are contributing a combined $300 million to the project.

The new base vehicle will be created on Volvo Cars' wholly modular Scalable Product Architecture (SPA). SPA is one of the most state-of-the-art car architectures on the planet. It's currently used on Volvo's XC90 SUV, as well as the S90 premium sedan and V90 premium wagon.

Seismic Shift for Cars

The Volvo-Uber team-up indicates a shift in the automotive business, with a car manufacturer joining forces with a new Silicon Valley-based player in the industry -- highlighting the way in which the global automotive industry is transforming in the wake of new technologies.

"This alliance places Volvo at the heart of the current technological revolution in the automotive industry," said Hakan Samuelsson, president and chief executive of Volvo Cars.

Safety First

Given both the concerns and excitement over autonomous cars, both companies promise to take safety seriously.

In a statement, Travis Kalanick, Uber's chief executive, said, "Over 1 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. 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."

Editor’s Note: Since this is new technology, some terms are new or being newly applied. To make some minor semantic differences clearer to the average consumer, we’ve created a separate article that points out the differences and similarities in words like “Self-driving” and “Autonomous.” For consistency, we have also updated the text in this article.

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Autonomous Cars Get Stamp of Approval From Volvo and Uber - Autotrader