Uber Orders 24,000 Plug-In Hybrid Volvo XC90s

NOV 21 2017 BY MARK KANE 8

Volvo XC90 T8 for Uber

Volvo Cars will supply tens of thousands (apparently 24,000) autonomous drive compatible cars to Uber between 2019 and 2021.

Volvo XC90 T8 for Uber

Making up the Uber order is the XC90 T8 plug-in hybrid, as well as the potential to include the XC60 T8 in the future.

For Uber, the big order for autonomous-ready plug-in Volvos is still only a fraction of its more than 2 million drivers that utilize its service today…but it is still a big opening volley.

Uber intends to ultimately develop its own autonomous driving ride-sharing service (and thus get rid of the biggest cost – the drivers). While on the other side of the transaction, Volvo will not only sell a lot of plug-in cars all in one shot, but the automaker will also benefit from the development of its own autonomous driving program.

Uber has already been testing 100 self-driving XC90s since 2016 in Pittsburgh.

“The non-exclusive agreement enhances the strategic partnership between Volvo Cars and Uber announced in August 2016 and also marks a new chapter in the convergence of car makers and Silicon Valley-based technology companies.”

“Volvo Cars’ engineers have worked closely together with engineers from Uber to develop the XC90 premium SUVs that are to be supplied to Uber. 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.”

“At the same time as providing Uber with AD compatible cars, Volvo will use the same base vehicle in the development of its own independent autonomous car strategy, which is planned to culminate in the release of its first fully autonomous car in 2021. “

Volvo XC90 T8 for Uber

Håkan Samuelsson, president and chief executive said:

“The automotive industry is being disrupted by technology and Volvo Cars chooses to be an active part of that disruption. 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.”

Jeff Miller, Head of Auto Alliances, Uber said:

“We’re thrilled to expand our partnership with Volvo. This new agreement puts us on a path towards mass produced self-driving vehicles at scale.”

source: Bloomberg

Categories: Volvo

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8 Comments on "Uber Orders 24,000 Plug-In Hybrid Volvo XC90s"

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Do Waymo and Uber actually plug these things in, or is there some other reason the big batteries are useful to them?

(Also, if/when Uber goes bust, imagine what that will do to used XC90 prices in the US!)

Volvo are adding wireless charging, and the model Uber has ordered will be fitted with that.
Uber can then have several “home” locations where cars are waiting for rides, and charge at the same time.
Would have thought they used a cheaper model, but glad they focus on ride comfort and safety.
It is strange times to live in, when you’ll start seeing autonomus vehicles.
Wonder if autonomous vehicles will be more prone to organized car theft? Box the car in. Disable it, and clean the “brain”, and then resold.

I’m working on a sinister idea about self driving cars. Where if a serial killer knows what they are doing and is able to disable the passenger’s cell phone. And if the killer was some how able to mess up the car’s tracking system. It might be possible a killer to have the hacked self driving car deliver a live victim to a killer’s den even from a hundred or two hundred miles away.

This might sound like science fiction but at the rate things are going I wouldn’t rule something like this impossible.

True. Until the killer delivers a concealed carry permit holder who exercises his natural right to self defense.

Even if does not get plugged in, the hybrid will give higher mpg.

Also, there may be some good pr by choosing the greener option.

Uber is smart trying to get autonomous running before Tesla kicks into gear the Tesla Network (driver present & autonomous ride sharing)…

Tesla Network may over time end up being a bigger competitor to Uber than Lyft.

Tesla is massively behind and there’s no evidence they can catch up. Ride share isn’t their focus, anyway.

Waymo is deploying. Cruise is about to. Uber’s own tech effort is foundering so they’re hedging their bets with Volvo. Tesla isn’t in the game.

Nobody knows were Tesla is at with their self driving tech.