Volvo to Focus on AV Software Development

Volvo has decided to move its autonomous technology focus towards developing the software required to make it a reality.

Its strategy was revealed with the splitting of its 50;50 joint venture with automotive hardware supplier Veoneer in the standalone automated driving company Zenuity. One part of this entity will be focusing on the development and commercialization of unsupervised autonomous drive software will be owned by Volvo. The second part will focus on the advanced driver assistance systems and will be integrated into Veoneer.

Under the joint ownership, Zenuity has developed a software platform for ADAS 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. The operations and staff based in Germany and USA will be transferred to Veoneer.

Volvo’s part of Zenuity will focus on development of unsupervised autonomous drive software that will be introduced in the next generation of cars based on its SPA2 vehicle architecture. The new company will remain separate from Volvo and run its own distribution channels.

Håkan Samuelsson, chief executive at Volvo, said: “Volvo Cars is committed to introduce safe, unsupervised autonomous drive on highways with its next generation of cars. Allowing the new company to fully focus on this development will help us deliver on those ambitions.”

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in London. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_

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