Volvo Cars has announced that its next-generation models will not need a driver’s help at all on the highways. The Swedish brand has made a commitment that its next-generation models that would be built on the SPA2 architecture, will feature unsupervised autonomous drive software and will drive itself on highways. Volvo has announced that to reach this target, it will accelerate the development of autonomous driving technology.
Zenuity, the assisted and autonomous driving software development company is a 50-50 joint venture between Volvo Cars and Veoneer. Veoneer is an automotive safety equipment company. To be able to accelerate the development, Zenuity will be split into two different arms. One part of the company will focus on the development and commercialisation of unsupervised autonomous drive software and will be owned by Volvo Cars. The other arm will focus on further continuous development and commercialisation of advanced driver assistance systems. The latter will be integrated into Veoneer.
“Volvo Cars is committed to introducing 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,” said 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.”
Till date, Zenuity has already developed a strong software platform for advanced driver assistance and autonomous driving systems. Both parts of the new split company will continue to build upon the same and work towards further development of the technology. As a part of this new agreement, Zenuity will move its operations and workforce in Sweden and China to the new company as a part of Volvo Cars. While the operations based in Germany and USA will be transferred to Veoneer.
With Zenuity working towards developing unsupervised autonomous drive software to be used in the next-generation models. However, the new company will remain separate from Volvo Cars and run its own distribution channels. The new company is expected to become operational latest during the third quarter of 2020.
Volvo has stated that the technology will be used on vehicles built on the second-generation of the Scalable Product Architecture platform or SPA2 architecture. This means that the future 60 and 90 series models, would be able to drive themselves on long highway journeys in the future.
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