Volvo Cars and Autoliv, a worldwide leader in automotive safety systems, have signed a final agreement to establish a new joint venture called Zenuity to develop software for autonomous driving and driver assistance systems.
Zenuity will create a new entrant in the fast 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 advanced driver assist systems (ADAS) and autonomous driving (AD) technologies.
Headquartered in Gothenburg, Sweden and with additional operations in Munich, Germany, and Detroit, USA, the initial workforce of around 200 people will come from Volvo Cars and Autoliv. The company is expected to grow to over 600 employees in the medium term. Operations are expected to start during the first half of 2017 after approvals from relevant competition authorities in several countries have been obtained and other customary closing conditions have been satisfied.
Both Volvo Cars and Autoliv will license and transfer the intellectual property for their ADAS systems to the joint venture. From this base, the company will develop new ADAS products and AD technologies. The new company is expected to have its first driver assistance products available for sale by 2019 with autonomous driving technologies following shortly thereafter.
Autoliv will be the exclusive supplier and distribution channel for all the new company’s products sold to third parties, and there will be no exclusivity toward any customer or the owners. Volvo Cars will source such products directly from the new joint venture.