Stockholm/San Francisco — Uber plans to buy up to 24,000 self-driving cars from Volvo, marking the transition of the US firm from an app used to summon a taxi to the owner and operator of a fleet of cars. The nonbinding framework deal could offer Uber a way to overcome setbacks at its autonomous driving division in Silicon Valley’s race to perfect self-driving systems. Combining Volvo’s cars with Uber’s self-driving system builds on their nearly three-year relationship and comes as Uber’s autonomous driving unit has been hit by a lawsuit over trade secrets and the departure of top talent. Vehicle makers, ride-hailing firms and tech start-ups have been forging loose alliances in an effort to advance self-driving technology and claim a piece of what is expected to be a multibillion-dollar business. Geely-owned Volvo said on Monday it would provide Uber with its flagship XC90 SUVs equipped with autonomous technology as part of a nonexclusive deal from 2019-21. The self-driving system t...

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