Volvo Cars to build a “base vehicle” platform which supports varying, autonomous, concepts from itself; and Uber.
Volvo Scalable Product Architecture
Volvo and Uber Technologies have teamed-up to create the next generation of autonomous vehicle, the manufacture confirmed. Volvo plans to build a “base vehicle” to which it – and the technology firm that makes it easier to book taxis via its mobile application - can install systems that best suit their respective requirements.
Volvo's Scalable Product Architecture (SPA) is the foundation of the forthcoming, base, vehicle. It is “one of the most advanced car architectures in the world”, the manufacturer said. It currently underpins the XC90 sports-utility vehicle, S90 Saloon and V90 Estate – all of which sit toward the high end of the brand's range.
The Scalable Product Architecture “has been prepared from the outset for the latest autonomous drive technologies as well as next generation electrification and connectivity developments”, the manufacturer explained. It started life in 2010 as part of a “global industrial transformation programme” that cost $11 billion.
Volvo and Uber Technologies staff now work closely together to further enhance the architecture's abilities. “This project will further add to the scalability of the SPA platform to include all needed safety, redundancy and new features required to have autonomous vehicles on the road”, the motor manufacturer explained.
Håkan Samuelsson, Volvo Cars President and Chief Executive, emphasised the company's strengths. He said: “Volvo is one of the most progressive and contemporary car makers in the world. It is a world leader in the development of active safety and autonomous drive technology, and possesses an unrivalled safety credibility.”
Volvo started life in 1927, has 29,000 employees worldwide, and registered 503,127 new cars in about 100 countries throughout 2015.
Its safety credentials include Vision 2020. The purpose of this concept is to ensure that nobody is killed or seriously injured in one of its new vehicles, by 2020. The 2015 XC90 is a step toward this goal as Euro NCAP – the independent body that assesses vehicle safety – awarded this sports-utility model a maximum 5-star rating.
Uber strives to make motoring safer
Uber Technologies values the motor manufacturer's safety credentials and perceives autonomous vehicles as the next step forward. Travis Kalanick, Chief Executive, said: “Over 1 million people die in car accidents every year. These are tragedies that self-driving technology can help solve; but we cannot do it alone.”
He continued: “That is why our partnership with a great manufacturer like Volvo is so important. Volvo is a leader in vehicle development and best in class when it comes to safety. By combining the capabilities of Uber and Volvo we will get to the future faster, together.”