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Volvo Signs Non-Exclusive Agreement with Uber

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2018 Volvo XC60 Inscription

In a little more than two years, your Uber-requested ride might be a self-driving vehicle engineered by one of the world’s premium automakers. Volvo Media reports that Volvo Cars has signed a non-exclusive framework agreement with the ride sharing company, “to sell tens of thousands of autonomous driving compatible base vehicles between 2019 and 2021.”

According to Hakan Samuelsson, president and chief executive, “The automotive industry is being disrupted by technology and Volvo Cars chooses to be an active part of that disruption. 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.”

The vehicles intended for Uber will be engineered on Volvo’s Scalable Product Architecture (SPA), which is what defines the new Volvo XC60 midsize SUV as well as Volvo’s lineup of 90 series car models. The Uber-designated SUVs will feature all the autonomous tech and safety features necessary “for Uber to add its own self-driving technology,” states Volvo Media.

The 2018 Volvo XC60 is available at three trim levels – Momentum, R-Design, and Inscription. Each T5 model features an in-line 4-cylinder turbocharged engine mated to an eight-speed Geartronic™ automatic transmission, which generates 250 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque.

Uber started in 2009 by Garrett Camp and was first known as UberCab. “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.”

The work with Uber shadows Volvo’s own commitment to autonomous driving technology; 2021 marks the deadline for the automaker’s highly-anticipated reveal of its first fully autonomous car.