Autoliv and Volvo Car Group have announced joint venture plans to create autonomous driving software as companies in the industry race to make use of the emerging technology.

The two auto companies based in Sweden revealed the joint venture will initially start with a workforce of approximately 200 staff who will all be drawn from the parent companies. This number will triple to 600 in a period of two years, according to Volvo CEO Hakan Samuelsson who was speaking at a press conference held on September 6, 2016.

The joint venture will have its headquarters in Gothenburg, Sweden, and will give priority to developing software and algorithms for ADAS-Advanced Driver Assistance Systems, as well as automated driving systems to be used in Volvo cars. The joint venture company will have other sites near Detroit in Southfield, Michigan and Germany.

The ADAS systems by the partners are scheduled to be market ready by 2019 with the automated driving technology debuting in 2021, said Autoliv CEO Jan Carlson during the press conference.

The partners want the joint venture technology to be operational by the beginning of 2017 with Autoliv handling sales to carmakers worldwide. Revenues will be shared by both firms, according to the CEOs.

In a phone interview with Automotive News Europe, Volvo Car Group CEO Samuelsson said Carlson and him decided the technology can only work best by having each of the two companies bring in their most valuable capabilities.

For Autoliv, that means their computer vision systems plus the sensor technology. For Volvo, it is their powerful decision making software that establishes how a car will respond in different circumstances.

The other important item involved creating a transparent, 100% open environment for effective collaboration. Both CEOs said this was the best approach because the usual supplier-automaker relationship was bound to fail. This had to be sufficiently dynamic.

Race to high-tech
This collaboration marks the latest move in Volvo’s high-tech efforts in an industry running fast in the race to adopt the latest emerging technologies of which autonomous driving seems to lead the way.

Just last month (August 2016), Volvo said yes to $300 million collaboration with Uber to make self-driving cars. Volvo also revealed it will recruit about 400 engineers in the coming years to reinforce software development. This is Volvo’s biggest recruitment drive ever.

In 2010, Volvo acquired the Chinese firm Zhejiang Geely Holding Group from the Ford Company. Volvo is also working closely with Nvidia and Autoliv in shaping up its Drive Me autonomous driving project to test a fleet of self-driving XC90s (about 100 of them) on Sweden’s Gothenburg, beginning next autumn.