Uber just made the deal that will boost its self-driving efforts in a big way along with signal a shift in the way the organization operates. Â
The company introduced a partnership with Volvo exactly where it would buy “tens of thousands” of self-driving vehicles from the Swedish automaker, deploying them from 2019-2020. The exact terms of the deal weren’t at first disclosed, but an Uber spokesperson confirmed to Mashable via email how the fleet size will be around 24, 000 vehicles. The agreement may be worth over $1 billion, according to the Wall Street Journal report. Â
The agreement marks a strong step forward for Uber, both because of its autonomous program and its overall functional strategy. The ride-hailing company provides long depended on drivers, that the company treats as independent companies, to make up its fleet, however the next few years will likely see a flood associated with Uber-owned driverless vehicles taking the roads. Â Â
The new deal grows on a previous alliance between the 2 companies, which led to Uber’s utilization of autonomous Volvo XC60 SUVs in the pilot programs in San Francisco (now shuttered to the public) and Az. Importantly, Volvo won’t provide completely developed self-driving cars to Above all â? the vehicles will come regular with “core autonomous driving systems, ” and Uber will include its own sensors and software right after delivery. Â
Uber’s Volvo offer is a reminder that it’s far and away the greatest player in the ride hailing business.
Volvo isn’t the only auto maker to team with Uber to include self-driving cars to its navy. Daimler, the parent company associated with Mercedes-Benz, has committed to manufacture autonomous cars for Uber, too. The particular conditions of that agreement are essentially different, however: Daimler’s cars uses its own driverless platform, not Uber’s, and the automaker will own plus operate its vehicles on Uber’s network.
The Volvo navy will give Uber its first chance to put its autonomous platform directly into vehicles at a massive scale, growing beyond its initial trials. The particular ride-hailing company doesn’t have plans in order to manufacture on its own cars, so contracts like this will be essential to scaling upward its self-driving operations beyond little regional pilot projects.
The news of the agreement comes after the quiet period for Uber’s autonomous program, as the contentious lawsuit along with Google parent Alphabet has sophisticated. Meanwhile, chief rival Lyft provides expanded its public self-driving dreams, with an ambitious open network regarding automakers, multiple partnerships for initial programs, and a new development middle to create its own driverless technology system. Â Â
Uber’s Volvo deal, nevertheless , is a reminder that it’s far and away the greatest player in the ride-hailing industry. However the company’s most recent round of fundraising was uninspiring, it was still appreciated for $10 billion, about 10 times that of Lyft’s largest circular. A massive fleet of 24, 000 robotaxis could help to make Uber the very first operator to normalize self-driving vehicles â? if the company can stay away from controversy and actually put them out on the street. Â