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Volvo and Polestar Working on New Self-Driving Vehicle with Waymo

Back in 2018, a Volvo XC90 became the first car in the history of the world to kill someone while driving on its own. Sure, the tech that made the vehicle capable of moving along was not Volvo’s but belonged to Uber, and it was ultimately the supervising driver’s distraction that weighed in a lot in the outcome, but that will never remove the stain of the otherwise impeccable image the Swedish brand has in terms of safety.
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On its own, Volvo toyed around with the idea of self-driving cars just as much as the next carmaker. Yet until now the Swedes have never been fully committed to what is expected to be the next big thing in transportation. That changed last week, when a partnership with perhaps the most advanced company in this segment, Waymo, was announced.

All three carmakers operating under Geely’s financial umbrella – Volvo, Polestar and Lynk & Co. - have tied the knot with Waymo for the development of a self-driving vehicle. No specifics were provided, with the exception of the fact that a new electric vehicle platform would be developed, fitted with Waymo’s self-driving tech, and sent on its merry way to perform ride-hailing services.

The vehicle will not be at the top of the autonomous driving chart (Level 5), but a Level 4 – the car can handle pretty much all tasks required for driving after being activated, but a human driver could still be used if the need arose.

“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 in a statement 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.”

No timeframe for the development of the new platform was announced.

press release
 
 
 
 
 

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