Not only autonomous cars are just a step away from production, but also the transportation programs that will use them are ready. Famous car sharing program Uber annouced its extending its autonomous transportation program in another big American city, San Francisco, California, using specially-converted self-driving Volvo XC90 premium SUV’s.
The move marks the next phase in an alliance between Volvo and Uber after the two companies signed an agreement in August 2016 to establish a jointly-owned project to build base vehicles that can be used to develop fully autonomous driverless cars. These cars were initially tested in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
The latest cars to be used in San Francisco have been built by Volvo and sold to Uber, after which Uber’s own self-driving hardware and software package has been added, most visibly in the roof-mounted control apparatus.
These cars will drive around the streets of San Francisco autonomously, but as part of the pilot program they will at all times have an Uber technician on board to supervise the car’s operation.
In January 2017 it will begin a project entitled Drive Me, which will be the world’s largest autonomous driving test in which up to 100 AD cars will be given to members of the public to be driven on real roads around Gothenburg, Sweden. Their experiences will be used to co-develop Volvo’s AD cars.