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Uber and Volvo in Close Collaboration for Next Generation Self-Driving Vehicles

Constructed to fit Uber’s self-driving technology in combination with enhanced backup systems, the new XC90 SUV from Volvo is set to increase the security levels of self-driving vehicles [1].

This first production-ready self-driving vehicle will be equipped with Uber’s latest technology as well as multiple built-in redundant backup systems for steering, automatic braking and battery power to bring the vehicle to a safe stop in the event where one of the units stop functioning. The new vehicles will allegedly be tested on public roads starting 2020 and expected to ultimately operate safely without any human behind the wheels as a result of the enhanced backup system measurements. According to Håkan Samuelsson, president and chief executive of Volvo Cars, “We believe that autonomous drive technology will allow us to further improve safety, the foundation of our company”. Similarly, Uber views this collaboration as a key ingredient to effectively build a safe, scalable, self-driving ride-hailing fleet [2].

 

Personal comments

These next-generation vehicles where OEM’s dedicate their development to facilitate and integrate better with autonomous technology seem like a natural step to increase the safety of self-driving vehicles. Another recent example is Ford’s upcoming tests of a similar next-generation concept together with autonomous technology start-up Argo AI [3]. The vehicle will be equipped with improved sensors, but also redundant braking and steering systems that help the vehicle maintain motion if any of the self-driving units stops functioning. Ford will also expand their testing activity to Detroit (adding up to a total of five U.S. cities where they currently operate), to expose the technology to more kinds of environments and traffic situations and further improve their handling of different scenarios.

 

Written by Hampus Alfredsson, RISE Viktoria.

 

Sources

1. 2019-06-12. Uber debuts a new self-driving car with more fail-safes.

2. 2019-06-12. Volvo Cars and Uber present production vehicle ready for self-driving.

3. 2019-06-12. Ford will test new third-generation self-driving cars in Detroit.