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Uber's massive Volvo order is a big self-driving step

21 November 2017

The agreement, which is non-exclusive, is the next step in a partnership between Uber and Volvo Cars that began in August 2016, and marks a new chapter in the convergence of vehicle makers and Silicon Valley-based technology companies.

"This new agreement puts us on a path towards mass-produced self-driving vehicles at scale". The deal is expected to be in between the year 2019 and year 2021 as reported by Bloomberg News.

The XC90 will take a testing period with safety driver and then the company will make a test of the vehicle running without safety driver so as to check whether the auto is able to give proper autonomous driving. It worked as a safety driver would sit in the front seat in an attempt to intervene if something goes wrong.

But the status of the project was unclear after Waymo sued Uber this year, claiming the ride-hailing company stole trade secrets, and the U.S. Justice Department opened an inquiry into the matter. It has inked an agreement with Sweden's Volvo to purchase 24,000 XC90 sport utility vehicles which will form its fleet of self-driving cars.

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In addition, in February 2017, the company Uber has signed a long-term cooperation agreement with the automotive group Daimler. The base vehicles feature core autonomous driving technologies that will enable Uber to add its own automation features as well, Volvo says. The exact terms of the deal weren't initially disclosed, but an Uber spokesperson confirmed to Mashable via email that the fleet size will be around 24,000 vehicles. "It's a new market that's emerging and we're the first to be delivering into that segment".

Lyft Inc., the main ride-hailing alternative in the USA, has said it's also building driverless cars but has mainly focused on partnerships.

But the new deal vastly increases the number of Volvo driverless cars that Uber can work with, showing the scope of its ambitions.

Uber said that anyone in the industry could potentially "deploy its tech".

Uber's massive Volvo order is a big self-driving step