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Volvo to democratise self-driving vehicle tech

Volvo’s next-generation XC90 is expected to be the brand’s first production vehicle to sport new self-driving technology.

Volvo Cars will make its autonomous vehicle technology more accessible to other car brands as it splits its co-owned Zenuity software development company in two.

One part of Zenuity will become a new standalone company, owned by Volvo, to further design and develop fully autonomous driving software.

The Volvo-owned part of Zenuity will continue to be operated out of Gothenburg, Sweden and Shanghai, China, with its first self-driving software to launch on the next-generation of the SPA2 vehicle platform – likely the new XC90 large SUV due in the next few years.

Meanwhile, automotive safety equipment manufacturer Veoneer – who produces advanced driving assistance systems for carmakers around the world – will take ownership of the other half of Zenuity, where it will strive for commercialisation of new safety tech.

This second half of Zenuity will be based in Germany and the USA.

With the announcement, Volvo Cars boss Hakan Samuelsson said: “Volvo Cars is committed to introduce safe, unsupervised autonomous drive on highways with its next generation of cars.

“Allowing the new company to fully focus on this development will help us deliver on those ambitions,” he said.

Zenuity boss Dennis Nobelius, meanwhile, said: “The new company will develop safe and advanced autonomous drive software.

“We believe that in the future there will only be a limited number of global software platforms for autonomous driving,” he said.

“We intend to develop one of these winning platforms.”