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Uber Orders 24000 Volvos For Self-Driving Fleet

Uber Orders 24000 Volvos For Self-Driving Fleet

The deal, estimated to be worth as much as $1.4billion, will see Uber purchase XC90 vehicles between 2019 and 2021. The exact terms of the deal weren't initially disclosed, but an Uber spokesperson confirmed to Mashable via email that the fleet size will be around 24,000 vehicles.

Anthony Levandowski, who used to work for Waymo, left the company in January 2016 to found self-driving start-up Otto, which Uber swiftly purchased in July past year for $700m (£558m).

Volvo and Uber had earlier agreed in 2016 to jointly develop more advanced self-driving auto systems.

Uber said it is testing self-driving XC90 models in Pittsburgh, San Francisco and Arizona, and intends to purchase and use specially-modified Mercedes-Benz vehicles as well.

Five months into Uber's campaign to improve relations with its drivers, the company has inked a deal with Volvo to buy tens of thousands of autonomous vehicles that could eventually replace them.

But the non-exclusive nature of the agreement means Volvo will continue developing its own autonomous systems, independent of Uber.

But with the current status of Uber, it may not be expected for a while.

But the status of the project was unclear after Waymo sued Uber this year, claiming the ride-hailing company stole trade secrets, and the U.S. Justice Department opened an inquiry into the matter. One of the main reasons why Uber went with the Volvo XC90 SUV is because it features a core for autonomous driving technology that will allow Uber to add its own automation features on top of what's already offered, Volvo states. Among those that have agreed to test autonomous vehicles on Lyft's platform are Delphi Automotive Plc's NuTonomy, Ford Motor Co., Jaguar Land Rover and Waymo. Uber founder Travis Kalanick - who was ousted earlier this year - had estimated that by using fully driverless vehicles the cost of using the service would drop below what it costs to own and operate a private vehicle.