Overnight Volvo and Uber announced that they will join forces to develop the next generation of autonomous vehicles.
According to Volvo, the two companies will “establish a joint project that will develop new base vehicles that will be able to incorporate the latest developments in [autonomous driving] technologies, up to and including fully autonomous driverless cars”.
The base vehicles will sit atop the Scalable Product Architecture that already underpins the XC90 SUV, S90 sedan and V90 wagon, and will also be used as the base for the next-generation S60, V60, and XC60.
Although engineers from both companies will work together on the project, Volvo and Uber add their own self-driving systems and software on top of the jointly developed base vehicles. Volvo says that its vehicles will one day “involve fully autonomous driving”.
All up, the partners will contribute a total of US$300 million ($390 million) to the project. The cars developed by this collaboration will be made by Volvo and purchased by Uber.
There’s no word yet on when Volvo and Uber’s base vehicle will make its debut, nor do we know when it will go into production.
In a statement Travis Kalanick, Uber’s CEO, said: “Over one 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 … By combining the capabilities of Uber and Volvo we will get to the future faster, together.”