Volvo Ramps up Autonomous Technology Development Efforts
As the entire automotive industry races to develop the most reliable AI-powered self-driving cars of the future, Volvo Cars is boosting its chances to get there first by accelerating its efforts using its partially-owned company, Zenuity. Zenuity, an assisted and autonomous driving software development firm, is being split into two between its owners, Volvo and Swedish automotive solutions firm Veoneer, to maximize the potential of its innovations to date. The part that will be owned by Volvo Cars becomes a new stand-alone company that will focus on the development and commercialization of unsupervised autonomous drive software, while the second part will be assimilated into Veoneer and will focus on the continued development and commercialization of advanced driver assistance systems. Zenuity is currently a 50-50 joint venture between Volvo Cars and Veoneer. Under the joint ownership, Zenuity has developed a strong software platform for advanced driver assistance and autonomous driving systems which both parts will now continue to build upon and further develop. As part of the agreement, Zenuity’s operations and people based in Gothenburg, Sweden and Shanghai, China will be transferred to the new company to be owned by Volvo Cars. The operations and people based in Germany and USA will be transferred to Veoneer. The part of Zenuity that will fall under the Zhejiang Geely-owned Swedish car brand will work on the next generation of cars based on Volvo’s SPA2 vehicle architecture. The new company will remain separate from Volvo Cars and run its own distribution channels. “Volvo Cars is committed to introduce safe, unsupervised autonomous drive on highways with its next generation of cars,” said Håkan Samuelsson, chief executive at Volvo Cars. “Allowing the new company to fully focus on this development will help us deliver on those ambitions.” “The new company will develop safe and advanced autonomous drive software,” added Dennis Nobelius, Zenuity’s chief executive. “We believe that in the future there will only be a limited number of global software platforms for autonomous driving. We intend to develop one of these winning platforms." The newly formed venture is expected to become operational soon, with the third quarter of 2020 being targeted as the latest.