Volvo Cars and Autoliv to form joint-venture “autonomous driving” company
Hot on the heels of its new agreement to work with Uber, Volvo has now announced that it will be forming a joint venture company with Autoliv to develop autonomous driving software. In a statement issued today (6 September), Volvo said that the planned new company will have its headquarters in Gothenburg, and an initial workforce taken from both companies of around 200, which will increase to over 600 in the medium term.
The new company is expected to start operations in the beginning of 2017.
Interestingly, Volvo plans to make the technology available to other car makers. According to the statement the new (yet to be named) company will “develop advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) and autonomous drive (AD) systems for use in Volvo cars and for sale exclusively by Autoliv to all car makers globally, with revenues shared by both companies”.
Volvo said that the first ADAS products are expected to be available for sale by 2019 with AD technologies available by 2021.
Autoliv will be the exclusive supplier and distribution channel for all the new company’s products towards third parties – but Volvo Cars which will source directly from the new company.
Dennis Nobelius, managing director of Volvo Switzerland and formerly vice president vehicle line 90 at Volvo Cars, will be the chief executive of the new joint venture.
Volvo and Autoliv already have a track record of collaboration on autonomous driving. About a year ago – on 30 September 2015 – the two companies announced that they would be working together on the Drive Me project.
Described as “the world’s first large-scale autonomous driving (AD) initiative”, Drive Me involves 100 self-driving Volvos being used by families and commuters on public roads in everyday driving conditions in the Swedish city of Gothenburg.
The Drive Me project was started in 2013 and the first families are expected to be on the roads of Gothenburg in 2017.