Volvo has announced a partnership with Uber that will see the Swedish brand supply the technology company with 'tens of thousands' of cars with autonomous capabilities between 2019 and 2021.
The cars will be developed on Volvo’s fully modular scalable product architecture (SPA), that is currently used on Volvo's 90 series cars as well as on the new XC60 SUV.
The non-exclusive agreement continues a partnership between the two companies that was initially announced in August 2016 and also marks the latest instance of an established car maker teaming up with a Silicon Valley technology company.
'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 of Volvo. 'Our aim is to be the supplier of choice for ride-sharing service providers globally. Today’s agreement with Uber is a primary example of that strategic direction.'
Volvo has worked closely with Uber to develop XC90 SUVs that will be supplied to directly to the ride-hailing company, incorporating the necessary safety, redundancy and core autonomous driving technologies that are required before Uber can add its own self-driving technology.
'We’re thrilled to expand our partnership with Volvo,' said Jeff Miller, head of auto alliances at Uber. 'This new agreement puts us on a path towards mass-produced self-driving vehicles at scale.'
Separate from the Uber programme, Volvo has already announced that it is working on its own self-driving car technology, with the Swedish car maker's first fully autonomous car set to be launched in 2021.
Uber has run into difficulties in the UK in recent months, with Transport for London announcing that it planned to withdraw Uber's licence in the capital city. The tech firm has since appealed with a decision still to be made on whether the initial ruling by the transport authority stands.