Volvo Looking To Speed Up Autonomous Drive Software Debut

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Zenuity, a 50-50 joint venture between Volvo and Veoneer will be split into two parts to maximize its potential. The part owned by Volvo will focus on the development and commercialization of unsupervised autonomous drive software, and will become operational during the third quarter of 2020.

The software will then be used by the next generation of cars based on Volvo’s SPA2 vehicle architecture.

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

As part of the new agreement, Zenuity’s operations and workforce based in Gothenburg, Sweden and Shanghai, China, will be transferred to the new Volvo-owned company. Zenuity has already developed a strong software platform for advanced driver assistance and autonomous driving systems.

“The new company will develop safe and advanced autonomous drive software,” said Dennis Nobelius, Zenuity chief exec. “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.”

Last year, the Swedish Transport Agency had allowed Zenuity to perform self-driving tests on public roads such as highways – with trained drivers behind the wheel.

Volvo’s plan is to ultimately begin selling self-driving models sometime after 2021, and derive a third of its sales from fully autonomous vehicles by 2025.