One of the leading carmakers in the world – Volvo Cars and one of the largest cab aggregator – Uber; have jointly developed a car capable of autonomous driving. The joint engineering agreement was made in 2016, and since, both the companies have developed a production car which can drive itself.
The vehicle used as a base is the Volvo’s XC90 which is already equipped with a lot of safety features and the car makes it easy for Uber to employ their self-driving systems, which could be deployed in the future on the Uber network. Which means the next time you hail a cab, it could be driverless one (of course in a few years time).
The prototype car includes a number of back-up systems for the steering and brakes and also has battery power back-up. In case of any systems failure, the car is programmed to come to a safe halt. The car is equipped with various sensors on top of the vehicle, which house Uber’s self-driving system that reads the surroundings and allows the car to drive itself in an urban environment. Uber’s self-drive system and Volvo cars can together make an autonomous cab which can be completely driverless and will only have to be monitored by specially trained personnel.
In the earlier stages, Uber is expected to launch the system only in selected areas suitable for autonomous driving. On the other hand, Volvo Cars could use the technology for their future autonomous vehicles and could bring one in the market as soon as 2020. Through autonomous driving, the brand believes that road safety will increase and it will be easier for the driver’s when they are stuck in bumper to bumper traffic, which will enhance the overall driving experience.