Uber set to purchase 24000 autonomous cars in driverless ride-sharing bid

Uber set to purchase 24000 autonomous cars in driverless ride-sharing bid

Uber is now trying to outpace autonomous auto rivals such as Tesla, Lyfy and the Alphabet subsidiary Waymo, which are each developing their own technologies. The agreement is worth over $1 billion, according to a Wall Street Journal report.

But the non-exclusive nature of the agreement means Volvo will continue developing its own autonomous systems, independent of Uber.

Bloomberg said the deal involved 24,000 XC90s and that Uber's order boosts efforts to replace human drivers, the biggest cost in its on-demand taxi service. 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. Uber then plans to add its own driverless technology and unleash a fleet of robo-taxis onto the world. The deal is valued at approximately $1.4 billion; each XC90 is priced at $46,900 in the US, according to Financial Times. "Our aim is to be the supplier of choice for [autonomous driving] ride-sharing service providers globally".

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That includes Uber, which Monday announced a new deal with Volvo. It has been working with Uber for almost three years to develop a base vehicle with core autonomous tech, which the ride-sharing company could then customize as it sees fit.

The news comes weeks after Waymo, Uber's key competitor, began testing driverless cars in Arizona with no back-up driver.

This isn't the first time Uber and Volvo have worked together.

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

For automakers, news of Uber buying vehicles at a commercial level means potential new sales, but also looming disruption to a business model that sees cars largely sold to private owners.

Moreover, the agreement has showed that Uber is pushing on with the development of its autonomous cars programme, in spite a legal feud with Google's sister company, Waymo.

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