Volvo and Autoliv launch joint venture to create self-driving software

Yet another partnership has been forged to help usher in the era of self-driving software: This time, it’s Volvo, which announced (via Reuters) a joint venture with Swedish-American car safety system supplier Autoliv to create autonomous driving. Volvo is already a partner of Uber’s in self-driving cars, and this new venture looks like yet another effort to help propel the automaker ahead of its rivals in the race to full autonomy.

Autoliv has typically worked on safety systems used by all major car manufacturers, including seatbelts, airbags, steering wheels and active says systems including collision avoidance. Autoliv’s work in active safety has helped it transition into autonomous driving tech, and it has moved to increase its capabilities in areas include LiDAR and computer vision. Autoliv has already worked with Volvo on its semi-autonomous vehicle features, including the company’s “Drive Me” suite of offerings, which are similar to Tesla’s Autopilot and which are currently in testing.

The new tie-up between Volvo and Autoliv deepens the relationship, through the formation of a new company with a dedicated staff of around 200 to start, pulled from each parent organization, with a growth goal of reaching up to 600 employees in the relatively near future.

Volvo and Uber announced a $300 million deal which would see the companies collaborate on bringing self-driving Volvo vehicles to market, but that arrangement didn’t involve any staff sharing or the formation of an additional company. Still, Volvo seems to be approaching the autonomous driving space from multiple fronts, and Autoliv’s active safety experience does likely make them a good partner.