Uber has signed a deal with Sweden’s Volvo for 24,000 XC90 sport-utility vehicles to form a fleet of driverless automobiles. Priced at $46,900 USD each, the first shipment of XC90‘s will arrive between 2019-2021 (a $1 billion USD deal), making Uber Technologies the first commercial purchase by a ride-handling provider, according to Volvo.
Uber will add its own sensors and software to allow the vehicle to drive by itself. There’s currently a $1 billion USD IP-theft lawsuit battle brewing between Uber and Alphabet Inc’s Waymo over self-driving services; Uber denies such accusations. “This new agreement puts us on a path toward mass-produced, self-driving vehicles at scale,” Jeff Miller, Uber’s head of auto alliances, told Bloomberg News. “The more people working on the problem, we’ll get there faster and with better, safer, more reliable systems.” Volvo plans to use these cars for its own future offering.
In other automotive news, Tesla just unveiled its new roadster and semi-truck, which Wal-Mart has already committed to buy.