Volvo has teamed up with one of the leading developers of self-driving technology.
Volvo is on a mission to make its cars "death proof." To help achieve this ambitious goal, the Swedish automaker recently announced it will be limiting the top speed of every new model that leaves the factory to 112 mph. Self-driving technology will be another key factor to improve the safety of its cars. However, Volvo's reputation in the autonomous car industry was tainted when a self-driving Volvo XC90 Uber taxi struck and killed a pedestrian in 2018, forcing the company to change its self-driving car strategy.
While Volvo will continue delivering cars to Uber, the Swedish car manufacturer has announced it's partnering with Waymo, one of the world's leading developers of self-driving technology. Waymo will be the "exclusive L4 partner for Volvo Car Group," but the Google-owned company also has partnerships with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Jaguar Land Rover, and Renault Nissan Mitsubishi.
Details about the partnership are scarce, but Volvo says Waymo's self-driving vehicle platform will initially be used for an autonomous Volvo ride-hailing service. The partnership also applies to Volvo's electric performance brand Polestar and Lynk & Co, which suggests the level four self-driving tech will also feature in future road-going Volvo and Polestar models since Volvo wants a third of its cars to have self-driving technology by 2025.
"Fully autonomous vehicles have the potential to improve road safety to previously unseen levels and to revolutionize the way people live, work and travel," said Henrik Green, chief technology officer at Volvo Car Group. "Our global partnership with Waymo opens up new and exciting business opportunities for Volvo Cars, Polestar and Lynk & Co."
"This key partnership with Volvo Car Group helps pave the path to the deployment of the Waymo Driver abroad in years to come, and represents an important milestone in the highly competitive autonomous vehicle industry," said Waymo chief automotive officer Adam Frost. "Volvo Car Group shares our vision of creating an autonomous future where roads are safer, and transportation is more accessible and greener. We're thrilled to welcome Volvo Car Group as our latest automotive partner."
Waymo will develop the artificial intelligence for the self-driving technology, while Volvo will design and manufacture the vehicles. A targeted launch date for Volvo's autonomous robotaxi service hasn't been announced, however. With Level 4 autonomy, the car will be able to operate without a human driver behind the wheel in certain locations and conditions.