Volvo Cars & Uber Showcase Production Ready XC 90 Self-driving Vehicle

Volvo Cars & Uber Showcase Production Ready XC 90 Self-driving Vehicle
Volvo Cars & Uber Showcase Production Ready XC 90 Self-driving Vehicle

Volvo Cars and Uber today presented a jointly developed production car aimed to cater autonomous driving segment. Uber and Volvo Cars entered a joint engineering agreement in 2016 and have since developed several prototypes aimed at accelerating the companies’ self-driving car development. The Volvo XC90 SUV presented today is the first production car that in combination with Uber’s self-driving system is capable of fully driving itself.

The XC90 base vehicle is equipped with key safety features that allow Uber to easily install its own self-driving system, enabling the possible future deployment of self-driving cars in Uber’s network as an autonomous ridesharing service. The car offers features likel back-up systems for both steering and braking functions as well as battery back-up power. If any of the primary systems should fail for some reason, the back-up systems are designed to immediately act to bring the car to a stop. In addition to Volvo’s built-in back-up systems, an array of sensors atop and built into the vehicle are designed for Uber’s self-driving system to safely operate and maneuver in an urban environment.

When paired with Volvo’s vehicle platform, Uber’s self-driving system may one day allow for safe, reliable autonomous ridesharing without the need for a mission specialist, the specially trained Uber employees operating and overseeing the car in areas designated and suitable for autonomous drive. The autonomous drive-capable production vehicle revealed today is part of Volvo Cars’ 2016 commercial agreement with Uber for the delivery of tens of thousands of autonomous drive-ready base cars in coming years.

Håkan Samuelsson, President & Chief Executive of Volvo Cars, said the agreement with Uber underlines company’s ambition to be the supplier of choice to the ride-hailing companies.

Eric Meyhofer, CEO of Uber Advanced Technologies Group, said Volvo has long been known for their commitment to safety, and when paired with Uber’s self-driving technology, the vehicle will be a key ingredient in Uber’s autonomous product suite.

Volvo Cars plans to use a similar autonomous base vehicle concept for the introduction of its future autonomous drive cars in the early 2020s. These technologies, to be introduced on the next generation of Volvo models based on the SPA2 vehicle architecture, will include features designed to enable unsupervised autonomous drive in clearly designated areas such as highways and ring roads. Volvo Cars believes autonomous drive can generate significant potential road safety benefits for society as a whole when all cars are autonomous. Until that moment, the technology can offer customers a better driving experience by taking away mundane tasks such as stop-start driving in traffic jams.