Since 2016, Volvo and Uber have been in partnership, after the two companies signed an agreement that would see the carmaker supply the ride-hailing firm with “tens of thousands of autonomous drive-ready cars” over the next few years.
Well here is what we should expect to see some of those cars looking like. Volvo XC90s equipped with a load of sensors. All Uber has to do is install its own self-driving software and boom, one totally self-driving car. Or at least that’s the plan.
As well as the rooftop sensor setup, the XC90 features backup systems that, should any of the primary systems fail or go rogue, can instantaneously make the car stop.
The companies explained that the new XC90 “base vehicle” paves the way for “possible future deployment of self-driving cars in Uber’s network as an autonomous ridesharing service”.
In 2018, we all remember an older Uber XC90 test vehicle was involved in a fatal accident in Arizona. This is thought to be the first fatality involving an autonomous car.
Volvo’s boss Håkan Samuelsson says by the mid-2020s, he expects “one third of all cars [Volvo] sells to be fully autonomous”.
The company will use a “similar autonomous base vehicle” for other autonomous cars, which will be introduced in the “early 2020s” and should allow “unsupervised autonomous drive in clearly designated areas such as highways and ring roads”.
What are your thoughts on having a completely autonomous Uber? If this means the end of those awkward two-star ratings for the jerky drivers who use the brake pedal like they’re playing a Metallica drum solo, it’s progress, right?