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Uber and Volvo introduced first joint self-driving car

Uber Technologies Inc. and Volvo Cars just unveiled their first jointly-developed self driving car which they referred to as “Volvo XC90 SUV“.

The ride-hailing company and the safety automotive manufacturer entered a strategic partnership in 2016 to develop autonomous driving cars. Volvo also agrees to supply thousands of autonomous compatible cars to Uber.

After two years, Uber and Volvo are now ready to show off their joint product as they launch their first self-driving car “Volvo XC90 SUV“. According to Uber, the production of the XC90 SUV will take place in Sweden. The XC90 is equipped with key safety features. These features will allow Uber to install its own self-driving system.

“This is about going to production,” said Uber’s head of Advanced Technologies Group Eric Meyhofer. The self-driving car will still have a steering wheel and pedal for human control.

The new vehicle also includes the most important feature of Volvo cars, the back-up system for both the steering and braking function. It also has a battery back-up power. “If any of the primary systems should fail for some reason, the back-up system is designed to immediately act to bring the car to a stop,” Uber says.

Uber stated that XC90 has an interior fish-eye camera. Cameras and ultrasonic sensors are also made into the front, rear, and sides of the vehicle.

Håkan Samuelsson, president and chief executive of Volvo Cars said, “We believe autonomous drive technology will allow us to further improve safety, the foundation of our company. By the middle of the next decade, we expect one-third of all cars we sell to be fully autonomous. Our agreement with Uber underlines our ambition to be the supplier of choice to the world’s leading ride-hailing companies.”

“We’re still in a real hybrid state,” Meyhofer said. “We have to get there and we’re not going to get to thousands of cars in a city overnight. It’s going to be a slower introduction.” Uber will start testing XC90 in 2020.

For Volvo Cras, they believe that autonomous drive can produce significant potential road safety benefits for the society