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Volvo buys premium app-based valet service Luxe

To acquire its tech and its team of engineers.
David Lumb, @OutOnALumb
September 9, 2017
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Volvo has just acquired the app-based valet service Luxe, which let users coordinate a driver to park, wash and refuel their car. But the Swedish automaker didn't pick it up just to convenience its customers -- it wants Luxe's technology and engineers, too.

The valet-tech company was almost bought by Uber back in June; The ridesharing titan was similarly looking to acqui-hire Luxe's assets and staff, though CEO and cofounder Curtis Lee reportedly wouldn't be making the jump to Uber. But today's deal will see Lee accompany his team to Volvo, according to Luxe's blog post on the matter. Volvo will integrate the valet tech into its own systems in its pursuit of ultimate driver service:

"Our vision is a future in which technology simplifies life so you never have to stop at a petrol station, go to a car wash or even take your car in for service ever again. The acquisition of Luxe is a step towards realising that ambition. I look forward to working closely with the highly talented team at Luxe who created its advanced technology from the ground up," said Atif Rafiq, Chief Digital Officer at Volvo Cars, in a press release.

Luxe's tech includes algorithms for routing, logistics planning and arrival time prediction, which will help with unspecified digital services in future Volvo connected cars. Even though most automakers are fixated on developing autonomous systems, some are likewise interested in valet convenience. Daimler recently outfitted its Mercedes-Benz museum in Stuttgart, Germany with a self-parking service as a proof-of-concept.

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