Uber plans to purchase up to 24,000 self-driving Volvo cars in a new deal between the companies.
According to the New York Times, Uber announced on Monday that they plan to “purchase as many as 24,000 self-driving Volvos once the technology is production-ready, putting the vehicles into its extensive ride-hailing network.”
“The deal is an extension of an agreement Uber made with Volvo nearly two years ago, when the ride-hailing company started its research and development efforts in autonomous vehicles in earnest,” the Times explained. “Uber has worked with third-party component manufacturers to build software and hardware for driverless cars, then worked closely with Volvo to outfit the automaker’s XC-90 vehicles with the technology. But the new deal vastly increases the number of Volvo driverless cars that Uber can work with, showing the scope of its ambitions.”
In an interview, Uber’s Head of Automotive Alliances, Jeff Miller, claimed, “Everything we’re doing right now is about building autonomous vehicles at scale.”
“We don’t know exactly how an autonomous world will look. But we know that we want to be the platform that’s at the center of it, from a ride-sharing standpoint,” he proclaimed. “The only way we could control our own destiny was to work with this technology that had the potential to disrupt our business, and have direct involvement in the creation of it.”
“We couldn’t afford to be on the outside looking in,” Miller concluded. “We have to be in the game.”
The purchase of more driverless cars follows numerous claims of sexual assault by drivers. Last week, a lawsuit was filed against Uber by two women who claim to have been sexually assaulted by Uber drivers and sought class-action status, claiming “thousands of female passengers have endured unlawful conduct by their Uber drivers.”
Uber has previously attacked Breitbart News, demanding its advertisements be removed from the website and declaring that the ridesharing company wants “nothing to do” with Breitbart News and its readers.