Miller said Uber will own and operate fleets of its own vehicles purchased from partners like Volvo, but there is no one-size-fits-all approach, so it will also allow other self-driving vehicles on its network. That company has negotiated deals with several manufacturers, including General Motors and, more recently, Ford Motor Co., that will put some of their autonomous vehicles into fleet testing and eventual commercial application.
With delivery of thousands of cars scheduled to start in 2019, that gives us a firm date for when Uber plans to deploy self-driving cars as a widespread alternative to human-navigated vehicles. It has been working with Uber for almost three years to develop a base vehicle with core autonomous tech, which the ride-sharing company could then customize as it sees fit.
That includes Uber, which Monday announced a new deal with Volvo.
The company is also testing the vehicle in Arizona, San Francisco and Pittsburgh along with a safety driver to help refine and improve their software.
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".
Uber would not share financial information about the project, and Volvo did not immediately respond to a request for further comment.
Waymo, the driverless auto arm of Google's parent company Alphabet, sued Uber in February for allegedly stealing technology essential for helping automated vehicles avoiding obstacles.
Although, Uber and Volvo have entered into an agreement, there is still no time period set when Uber will launch its driverless ride hailing service.
The announcement comes shortly before Uber prepares to face accusations its driverless tech was based on ideas developed by Google in court next month.