Volvo creates new AD company

Volvo and Autoliv have signed a letter of intent to set up a new jointly owned company to develop next-generation autonomous driving software.

Based in Gothenburg, Sweden, the new company will have an initial workforce taken from both companies of around 200, increasing to more than 600 in the medium term.

The company is expected to start operations in the beginning of 2017.

The joint venture will create a new entrant in the growing global market for autonomous driving software systems. It marks the first time a leading premium car maker has joined forces with a tier-one supplier to develop new ADAS and AD technologies.

The new company, still unnamed, 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. Both Autoliv and Volvo Cars will licence and transfer the intellectual property for their ADAS systems to the joint venture, with ADAS products expected to be on sale by 2019 and AD products available in 2021.

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.

Håkan Samuelsson, president and chief executive of Volvo Cars, said, ‘By combining our know-how and resources, we will create a world leader in AD software development. This means we can introduce this exciting technology to our customers faster.’

Jan Carlson, chairman, chief executive and president of Autoliv, added, ‘There are no two companies that can claim to have done more for automotive safety worldwide than Autoliv and Volvo. This new company is a recognition of the fact that autonomous driving is the next step to transform road safety.’

Volvo has recently announced deals with Siemens and Uber to develop electric and next generation autonomous driving cars.