Uber is expanding its fleet of autonomous cars with help from Volvo.
The Geely-owned (GELYY) Volvo Cars on Monday announced that it had signed a framework agreement with ride-hailing giant Uber to sell tens of thousands of self-driving compatible base cars between 2019 and 2021.
"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 vehicles will be manufactured on Volvo's fully modular, in-house developed Scalable Product Architecture (SPA). Volvo calls the SPA, a global full-size unibody automobile platform, one of the "the most advanced car architectures in the world" and currently uses it to develop its 90 series cars as well as the new XC60 midsize SUV.
While terms of the deal were not disclosed, Uber is reportedly buying 24,000 XC90 vehicles between 2019 and 2021 in a deal worth potentially $1.4 billion for Volvo, according to Financial Times calculations.
"Volvo Cars' engineers have worked closely together with engineers from Uber to develop the XC90 premium SUVs that are to be supplied to Uber," Volvo said. "The base vehicles incorporate all necessary safety, redundancy and core autonomous driving technologies that are required for Uber to add its own self-driving technology."
The non-exclusive agreement builds upon the purchase by Uber in 2016 to develop a fleet of 200 Volvo sporty utility cars, equipped with self-driving technology that carries out tests in cities like Pittsburgh.
"The automotive industry is being disrupted by technology and Volvo Cars chooses to be an active part of that disruption," said Håkan Samuelsson, president and chief executive. "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."
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