An Uber driver sits in his car near San Francisco International Airport on July 15, 2015. Uber and Volvo will invest a combined 300 million into a joint project to develop self-driving vehicles, the companies announced Thursday. In a statement, the companies said they will equip base vehicles with autonomous driving technology, ultimately moving toward manufacturing self-driving vehicles. Volvo will make the vehicles, while Uber purchases those vehicles and implement its own self-driving tech. "Over one million people die in car accidents every year," said Uber CEO Travis Kalanick in a statement.
An Uber driver sits in his car near San Francisco International Airport on July 15, 2015. SAN FRANCISCO -- Uber customers in downtown Pittsburgh later this month will begin hopping into vehicles that can drive themselves to their destination. The ride-hailing giant, which has been valued at more than 60 billion, also said Thursday it was partnering with Swedish automaker Volvo on a 300-million joint project to develop self-driving vehicles. And it said it bought a start-up that's working on self-driving trucks. Uber has been testing a handful of tech-laden Volvo SUVs in Pittsburgh, which is headquarters for the tech company's nascent autonomous car research facility.
Uber on Wednesday said California Department of Motor Vehicles revoked registrations on its 100 self-driving cars operating on San Francisco, Cali. "We have stopped our self-driving pilot in California," an Uber spokesperson wrote in an email to CNET. "We're now looking at where we can redeploy these cars but remain 100 percent committed to California and will be redoubling our efforts to develop workable statewide rules." The DMV's move comes after a week long standoff, where Uber refused to obtain permits for its self-driving vehicles as "autonomous". The Attorney General's office sent a letter to Uber that said the company must "immediately remove its self-driving vehicles from California public roadways until it obtains the appropriate permit" or else the attorney general "will seek injunctive and other appropriate relief."
To judge by recent claims, "fully autonomous" self-driving technology is just around the corner. Uber Technologies Inc. is offering Pittsburgh residents rides in autonomous Ford Fusions. Ford Motor Co. F -0.08 %, BMW AG BMW -0.90 %, Volvo Car Corp. and Lyft Inc. say they will produce fully autonomous vehicles by 2021 or sooner. Tesla Motors Inc. TSLA 0.49 % Chief Executive Elon Musk, rarely topped in hyperbole, says the technology will be here within 24 months. To many industry insiders, these claims are largely hype.