Volvo is going to partner with Uber to test self-driving cabs in real road conditions and confirm how public EVs are embraced by commuters.
The cost to produce individual electric cars with self-driving cars could be really high. Tesla managed to pull it off by pricing their Model S sedan with an exorbitant price tag. The same cannot be done by every other manufacturer as it could alienate their buyers. Instead of skipping self-driving technology altogether, Volvo among other manufacturers have decided to implement it in the public transport system. Uber is an easy choice for companies to experiment their technology as they usually have a well-defined route and can be implemented with sensors among other equipment as required.
The new Volvo, Uber partnership is worth $300 million as they jointly invest the huge sum to bring next generation technology into the automobile industry. Volvo will be in charge of producing a scalable product architecture platform. The new platform will have enough space to integrate flat battery that can deliver the power required to enable autonomous driving. The automobile maker will be in-charge of building the vehicles and Uber will purchase those cars to use them for their huge customer base. Uber has a global presence which makes it easier for them to test the autonomous cars in any region.
It has also been confirmed that Volvo will sponsor 100 XC90 cars equipped with self-driving features to Uber. The cars will be tested in the streets of the Pittsburg. Those who like to try out the driverless car can find one using the Uber app and the vehicle will automatically find their pickup location. The idea might sound a bit intimidating where an empty car arrives to pick you up but soon it would be the preferred way to travel just like how computers became omnipresent.
Talking about the launch, Volvo and Uber said that the sole aim is to stop accidents caused by human errors. Statistics claim that over one million people die every year due to improper driving and autonomous cars which are error free could finally put an end to this issue. The companies believe that they are in the early stages of a longterm partnership which will bring the new feature to people around the globe, without having to shell out a fortune.
Volvo has more than 100 EVs equipped with self-driving technology ready to be tested in the roads of Sweden and London by the year 2018.