The Swedish automaker is a major proponent of autonomous driving, with trials at home in Sweden in England and soon in China – and also has an important partnership with ride-sharing company Uber.
Not long ago the two companies announced a deal to have Volvo provide the necessary vehicles, which are afterwards outfitted with Uber’s sensors and hardware needed to operate in autonomous mode. The companies have now decided to expand their partnership from Pittsburgh to San Francisco, with the autonomous vehicles still being on trial. Uber’s limited trial in Pittsburgh was a good experience with varied weather conditions, and now decided to reach over to San Francisco to develop the technology on narrow, busy roads that have steep inclines and also feature “dangers” such as cyclists.
Just like in Pittsburgh, Volvo will provide Uber with XC90 crossovers, refitted by the ride-sharing company with sensors and hardware needed for autonomous operation. Each vehicle gets an Uber employee for progress monitoring and safety, so the company says there’s no need for a special permit. Uber and Volvo have also started a $300 million project to develop so-called “base” autonomous cars for autonomous duties – each selling afterwards their own, specific version.