volvo uber self driving car designboom
uber, the ride-sharing technology company, is expanding its self-driving pilot to san francisco, california, using specially converted volvo ‘XC90’ driverless cars.  these vehicles were built by volvo and sold to uber, after which self-driving hardware and software package has been added, most visibly in the roof-mounted control apparatus. they will drive around the streets of the city autonomously, plus they will at all times have an uber technician on board to supervise the car’s operation.

Uber launches self-driving pilot in San Francisco with Volvo Car
all images © uber + volvo cars



this pilot marks the strengthening of the alliance between uber and volvo cars, as both companies envision a fully autonomous future for hired-transportation.


in january 2017, volvo will begin its ‘drive me’ project, which is due to be the world’s largest autonomous driving test where up to 100 autonomous vehicles will be handed to members of the public to be driven on real roads around gothenburg, sweden. the user-feedback in response to these experiences will be then be used to co-develop volvo’s self-driving cars.

volvo uber self driving car designboom
autonomous volvo XC90 can be found on filbert street



‘the promise of self-driving ride sharing is becoming a reality,’ comments mårten levenstam, vice president product planning at volvo cars. ‘volvo is proud to be at the forefront of the latest developments in the automotive world alongside our partners at uber.’

volvo uber self driving car designboom
drive me project will gain feedback from 100 vehicles



afterwards, the swedish-automaker will participate in a joint venture with autoliv, the automotive safety technology company. together they will set up a brand-new jointly-owned company to design and manufacture newly branded autonomous and driver-assistance software technology packages. this new company be headquartered in gothenburg, sweden, and is expected to start operations in the beginning of 2017.

volvo uber self driving car designboom



update: just hours after the autonomous ‘XC90’ took to the san francisco streets, californian authorities ordered the test to stop until such times that uber receives a state permit. the californian department of motor vehicles wrote to the ride sharing company expressing the test is illegal, until permission is granted for the use of autonomous vehicles on public roads.