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In this photo taken Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2016, an Uber driverless car heads out for a test drive in San Francisco.   The ride-hailing company is refusing to obey demands by the state's Department of Motor Vehicles that it stop picking up San Francisco passengers in specially equipped Volvo SUVs. Hours after Uber launched the self-driving service Wednesday, Dec. 14,  the DMV warned it was illegal because the cars did not have a special permit.  (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

Uber agrees to buy thousands self-driving cars from Volvo

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Volvo Cars announced it will sell tens of thousands self-driving cars to Uber, which is expanding to become an operator and owner of its own car fleet.
Volvo said in a statement that it would provide the San Francisco-based ride-sharing company with its XC90 premium SUVs complete with autonomous driving technologies, from 2019 until 2021. The framework deal is non-exclusive.

“The automotive industry is being disrupted by technology and Volvo Cars chooses to be an active part of that disruption,” said Volvo Cars CEO Hakan Samuelsson.

The carmaker, owned by China’s Geely Holding since 2010, didn’t disclose the agreement’s value or the precise number of vehicles. Media reports suggest Uber is buying up to 24,000 autonomous Volvo cars.

The deal is based on an alliance Volvo announced with Uber last year when the two companies said they would collaborate on developing self-driving cars, pledging to invest a combined $300 million to the project.

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Jeff Miller, Uber’s head of auto alliances, said Monday the company was “thrilled” to expand its partnership with Volvo.
“This new agreement puts us on a path towards mass produced self-driving vehicles at scale,” Miller said in a joint statement with Volvo.
Volvo Cars key manufacturing plant is located in Goteborg, Sweden.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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