The future of the car, in the name of autonomous driving, seems to be approaching with ever greater speed.

The last announcement comes from a partnership between two known brands in their respective sectors: Volvo, for automotive, and Uber, for new generation mobility.

The two companies have unveiled the first self-driving XC90 car ready for production, which Volvo developed together with the American company of ride-sharing.

Volvo’s future, the car manufacturer points out, before even autonomous driving is electric: the company aims to achieve the goal that by the middle of the next decade half of sales are fully electric cars. But in the future of the company, Volvo also sees a lot of space for autonomous driving: the goal is that, within the same period, one third of all sales are of autonomous cars.

Some of these sales will be directed to regular customers, says Volvo, others will have as target companies that need fleets of vehicles or ride-hairing companies that look with interest to new forms of mobility, such as the And it is precisely this latter category of customers that makes the announcement so important, according to Volvo, even if private customers will benefit in the future.

Uber and Volvo together for autonomous driving

The first Volvo car to drive itself, developed in partnership with Uber, is a significant milestone in the collaboration between the two companies, started at the end of 2016. Since the beginning of the collaboration, the two companies have developed a series of prototypes aimed at enhancing the development in the field of autonomous cars.

The Suv XC90 is now the first car developed by Volvo and Uber that has left the normal car manufacturer’s production plant. In this sense, it is also a sign of what will come when Volvo begins to introduce autonomous driving features into its own cars. This goal is planned, announced by the car manufacturer, for the next generation of Volvo based on the SPA2 architecture, which enables autonomous driving without supervision in clearly designated areas.

The most important features of the autonomous Suv XC90, explains Volvo, are the backup systems. Not only in relation to steering and braking, but also to battery power backup. If any of the primary systems fail for any reason, backup systems are designed to act immediately and stop the car. Of course, Volvo still explains, the car also contains (or provides for the possibility of integrating) numerous sensors and cameras for 360 degree perception. It also has special cleaning nozzles for cameras, to ensure good visibility at all times.

Volvo announced that soon it will start delivering the first XC90 autonomous cars ready for use to Uber. The ride-sharing company will then install its self-driving system, which includes both hardware and software. The combination of Uber’s and Volvo’s integrated backup systems could allow Uber to offer autonomous ride-sharing services in the future. This also matches the goals of Volvo itself, which, as its CEO Håkan Samuelsson says, has the ambition to become the reference supplier for world leaders in the ride-hairing industry.

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