Uber has partnered with carmaker Volvo to purchase 24,000 of their XC90 SUVs between 2019 and 2012 to form a fleet of self-driving cars, according to Bloomberg News. The XC90 is Uber’s latest-generation of autonomous vehicles, which features sensors and self-driving technology installed by the ride-sharing company after purchase of the XC90.
The deal is said to be worth around $1.4 billion, according to the Financial Times, with the XC90 starting at $46,900 in the U.S. based on their base model consumer pricing. Uber is currently testing the XC90 vehicle in Arizona, San Francisco and Pittsburgh in trails with safety drivers in the vehicle to help improve their software. Uber has also paired with Volvo to develop autonomous driving and a vehicle ready for autonomous driving technology, with investments from both companies in 2016.
Uber’s new set of XC90s will allow the company to continue to expand their test vehicles, in hopes of delivering an automobile that can brake, steer and autonomously drive without human interaction. The 24,000 fleet is also subject to change, depending upon Uber’s needs. Uber also has the right to order vehicles from other OEMs to help add to their growing fleet, according to the deal.
Meanwhile, Google’s Waymo, Alphabet’s self-driving car company, announced plans to launch their own self-driving car service open to consumers soon, which may be behind the decision for Uber to accelerate their own plans. That said, no timeline has been released as to when the self-driving cars will become available to users in a non-testing capacity.