Zenuity, the joint venture between Volvo Cars and Autoliv, Inc. (earlier post) has begun operations. Zenuity is a new entrant in the growing global market for autonomous driving software systems. It marks the first time a premium car maker has joined forces with a Tier One supplier to develop leading advanced driver assist systems (ADAS) and autonomous driving (AD) technologies.
Autoliv will make a total investment of around 1.1 billion SEK (US$123 million) into the joint venture, the large majority of which is an initial cash contribution, but it also includes intellectual property, know-how and personnel. At the same time Volvo Cars will contribute intellectual property, know-how and personnel into the joint venture. As previously announced, Volvo Cars and Autoliv own the joint venture 50/50. The formation of the joint venture was first announced in September 2016.
Headquartered in Gothenburg, Sweden and with additional operations in Munich, Germany, and Detroit, USA, the initial workforce of close to 300 people is from Volvo Cars and Autoliv as well as some new hires. The joint venture’s workforce is expected to grow to more than 600 employees in the medium term.
Both Volvo Cars and Autoliv license and transfer intellectual property for their ADAS systems to the joint venture. From this base, the joint venture will develop new ADAS products and AD technologies. Zenuity is expected to have its first ADAS products available for sale by 2019 with AD technologies following shortly thereafter.
Autoliv is the exclusive supplier and distribution channel for all Zenuity’s products sold to third parties, and there will be no exclusivity toward any customer or the owners. Volvo Cars can source such products directly from the joint venture.