Volvo Will Split Zenuity To Accelerate Autonomous Car Development

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Swedish carmaker Volvo will be splitting its autonomous driving development arm, now called Zenuity, into two separate entities in a bid to accelerate the development and implementation of its next-generation Pilot Assist self-driving system. The move will create one company, still called Zenuity, and a new company that will be absorbed by the safety equipment gurus at Veoneer.

Image courtesy Volvo Cars

For those unfamiliar with it, Veoneer is a Swedish company that has become a global leader in the design, manufacture, and sale of state-of-the-art software, hardware, and systems for advanced driving assistance systems that it then sells to vehicle manufacturers globally. The company, which supplies Daimler (read: Mercedes-Benz), Volkswagen (read: VW, Audi, and Porsche), Ford, and Honda, is seen by some to be hurting from the delayed adoption of self-driving cars en masse, but it’s Veoneer’s “edge” in producing self-driving commercial vehicles that might make it a very big deal somewhat sooner than later.

I mean, that’s if you believe its PR and marketing guys. Which, to be honest — I am nothing if not a pawn of the marketers, you know?

Volvo, meanwhile, continues to press forward with its own plans for implementing more autonomous drive features and technology like thermal imaging cameras and the groundbreaking laser-based visualization technology it showed off at Automobility 2018.

You can read more about the split and what it might mean for both Volvo Cars and Veoneer/Zenuity in the company’s official press release, below, then let us know what you think about the future of autonomous vehicle adoption in the comments section at the bottom of the page.

Volvo Cars to accelerate autonomous technology development

Image courtesy Volvo Cars

Zenuity, the assisted and autonomous driving software development company, will be split into two parts to maximise the potential of Zenuity’s developments to date.

One part is a new stand-alone company, focusing on the development and commercialization of unsupervised autonomous drive software, and will be owned by Volvo Cars. The second part will focus on the continued development and commercialization of advanced driver assistance systems and will be integrated into Veoneer, the automotive safety equipment company.

Zenuity is currently a 50-50 joint venture between Volvo Cars and Veoneer. Under the joint ownership, Zenuity has developed a strong software platform for advanced driver assistance 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 Cars. The operations and people based in Germany and USA will be transferred to Veoneer.

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

“Volvo Cars is committed to introduce 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.”

The new company is expected to become operational latest during the third quarter of 2020.

Source | Images: Volvo Cars.


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