Volvo Cars takes total ownership of autonomous driving software firm Zenseact

Swedish car manufacturer Volvo Cars has taken full ownership of its autonomous driving software division Zenseact. It said it acquired the remaining 13.5 percent of shares in Zenseact from automotive software and hardware company ECARX, co-founded in 2017 by Eric Li, as the company’s kargest investor; Li is also the founder and chairman of the China-based Geely automotive group, which retains a majority share in Volvo Cars.

ECARX’s autonomous driving technology has been integrated into more than 3.2 million cars worldwide during the past three years, a statement said. Zenseact, also supplying other automotive brands, will continue as a standalone company, said Volvo Cars. The Sweden-based firm, separated from truck maker Volvo AB since 1999, called the acquisition a “strategic step to owning more of the software powering key functionality going into future cars”, as well as to support its own “strategic direction to be a leader in new technology”.

Volvo Cars stated: “With this transaction, Volvo Cars further clarifies and simplifies Zenseact ownership, making the autonomous driving software company a fully owned subsidiary of Volvo Cars. Zenseact will continue to remain and operate as a standalone company and lead development of safety-, advanced driver assistance- and autonomous driving technologies for introduction first in Volvo and Polestar cars.”

The firm also noted that ongoing collaboration discussions between Zenseact and ECARX will continue as planned. Zenseact received a strategic investment in 2021 from ECARX. Zenseact had struck a deal with Luminar Technologies in 2021 to offer a combination hardware-software system to other automakers. In June 2018, Volvo took a stake in US start-up Luminar, based in California and Florida, to develop sensor technology for autonomous vehicles.

Volvo Cars has been working with Luminar already on development and testing of LiDAR technology, which uses pulsed laser signals to detect objects, in its connected and autonomous prototypes. This deal was the first from the Gothenburg-based company’s new Volvo Cars Tech Fund, launched in February 2018 to invest in technology start-ups focused on artificial intelligence, electrification, autonomous driving and digital mobility services.

Volvo said its start-up fund gives young enterprises a chance to validate and launch their technologies, as well as providing unique access to Volvo’s own network of automotive and technology partners.

The post Volvo Cars takes total ownership of autonomous driving software firm Zenseact appeared first on Enterprise IoT Insights.

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