Uber set to purchase 24000 autonomous cars in driverless ride-sharing bid

Chelsea West
November 21, 2017

With delivery of thousands of cars scheduled to start in 2019, that gives us a firm date for when Uber plans to deploy self-driving cars as a widespread alternative to human-navigated vehicles.

Uber is making a significant investment into the driverless vehicles.

Taxi agency, Uber, says it will purchase many thousands of Volvo off-road vehicles to build up fleet of self-driving cars.

Volvo said the vehicles "incorporate all the necessary safety, redundancy and core autonomous driving technologies that are required for Uber to add its own self-driving technology".

The deal marks a milestone step in the United States firm's transition from an app used to summon a taxi to the owner and operator of a fleet of cars.

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"The automotive industry is being disrupted by technology and Volvo Cars chooses to be an active part of that disruption", the post quotes Håkan Samuelsson, president and chief executive at Volvo as saying.

The agreement marks a bold step forward for Uber, both for its autonomous program and its overall operational strategy.

The cars, in theory, would be available through the Uber app to pick up passengers - without a driver. Uber then plans to add its own driverless technology and unleash a fleet of robo-taxis onto the world. Uber previously launched a self-driving Uber service in San Francisco in December 2016 but was pulled shortly after because the company failed to properly register the 16 vehicles.

Ford announced earlier this year it is working with Uber rival Lyft on a driverless auto trial programme, while Chrysler is supplying Pacific hybrids to Google's self-driving arm Waymo for its self-driving taxis trial. Although those cars are self-driving, they still have an engineer present behind the wheel, ready to take control. Uber's US$70 billion valuation already puts the group nearly on a par with Mercedes-Benz parent company Daimler.

Other reports by TheSundaySentinel

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