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Volvo and Uber forge autonomous cars alliance

Volvo Cars and Uber XC90

Volvo Cars has joined forces with ride sharing specialists at Uber to develop the next-generation of autonomous vehicles.

The two companies have signed an agreement to establish a joint project that will develop new base vehicles that will be able to incorporate the latest developments in autonomous drive technologies, including fully autonomous driverless cars.

Uber will purchase vehicles produced by Volvo as part of the new agreement, which represents a $300m (£228m) investment buy the two businesses, but will add its own autonomous driving systems to the Volvo base vehicle.

Volvo will use the same base vehicle for the next stage of its own autonomous car strategy, which will involve fully autonomous driving.

Håkan Samuelsson, president and chief executive of Volvo Cars, said: “Volvo is one of the most progressive and contemporary car makers in the world.

“It is a world leader in the development of active safety and autonomous drive technology, and possesses an unrivalled safety credibility.

“We are very proud to be the partner of choice for Uber, one of the world’s leading technology companies.

“This alliance places Volvo at the heart of the current technological revolution in the automotive industry.”

A joint statement issued by Volvo Cars and Uber said that the alliance marks the beginning of what both companies view as “a longer-term industrial partnership”.

Volvo’s base vehicle will be developed on the current Scalable Product Architecture (SPA) which currently underpins the XC90 SUV, as well as the S90 and V90.

SPA has been developed as part of Volvo Cars’ USD11bn global industrial transformation programme, which started in 2010, and has been prepared from the outset for the latest autonomous drive technologies as well as next-generation electrification and connectivity developments, Volvo Cars said.

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