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Volvo-Uber collab nets production-read autonomous vehicle

by Drew Johnson

The self-driving car is based on the Volvo XC90.


Volvo and Uber announced on Wednesday that they've successfully co-engineered a production vehicle capable of full autonomous drive.

The production-ready, self-driving car is based on Volvo's XC90 sport utility vehicle. The XC90 is fitted with specialty hardware from Volvo -- including integrated and rooftop sensors -- while Uber supplies the technology to make self-driving possible.

"Working in close cooperation with companies like Volvo is a key ingredient to effectively building a safe, scalable, self-driving fleet,” said Eric Meyhofer, CEO of Uber Advanced Technologies Group. "Volvo has long been known for its commitment to safety, which is the cornerstone of its newest production-ready self-driving base vehicle. When paired with our self-driving technology, this vehicle will be a key ingredient in Uber's autonomous product suite.”

Keeping with its reputation for safety, Volvo has baked in a number of back-up systems into its XC90. Volvo says there are redundant systems for steering and braking, and there is even an auxiliary battery for back-up power. If one of the primary systems should fail, the back-up systems are designed to bring the vehicles safely to a stop.

Although labeled a production vehicle, neither Volvo nor Uber stated when the self-driving XC90 would hit the road. However, Volvo has pledged to have its first self-driving vehicle in showrooms by the early 2020s.

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