Not that long ago, Volvo was looking for collaborators to help them introduce a car that’s able to drive entirely by itself, by the year 2021.
Various reports suggested that the Swedish car manufacturer was actively developing its own partial self-driving system, targeting a wide-scale trial of its Intellisafe Autopilot next year, in Sweden, U.K., and China, with a planned 100 test cars for each country.
Now, the Chinese-owned automaker and Autoliv Inc (a company specialized in automotive safety systems) have signed a letter of intent to set up a new jointly-owned company, focused on developing next-gen autonomous driving software.
The unnamed company will be headquartered in Gothenburg, Sweden, and will have an initial workforce of around 200, increasing to over 600 in the medium term.
According to Volvo, the new business will develop advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) and autonomous drive systems (AD) for use in Volvo cars, and it’s expected to start operations in the beginning of 2017. The products will also be offered for sale exclusively by Autoliv to all car makers globally, with revenues shared by both companies.
“By combining our know-how and resources we will create a world leader in AD software development. This means we can introduce this exciting technology to our customers faster.”, said Håkan Samuelsson, president and chief executive of Volvo Cars.
Well, it looks like Volvo’s plan to introduce a fully autonomous vehicle within the next 5 years isn’t that farfetched.