Volvo's New Partnerships
After a recent announcement that Volvo will attempt to challenge Tesla in the electric vehicle market, the car manufacturer has now also made a gambit to join the autonomous vehicle competition. The Swedish car giant has teamed up with Nvidia for the project, specifically utilizing Nvidia's Drive PX, which is capable of processing data from 12 video cameras as well as lidar, radar, and ultrasonic sensors.
This news comes in the wake of an announcement from the CEO of Volvo, Hakan Samuelsson, that the company intends to square off with Tesla at the expense of diesel engines. Samuelsson explained in an email to Reuters, “We have to recognize that Tesla has managed to offer such a car for which people are lining up. In this area, there should also be space for us, with high quality and attractive design.”
The software that will govern the driverless system is provided by Autoliv, who Volvo is partnering with under the new name Zenuity for this venture. Although some parts of the collaboration will be exclusive for Volvo, other aspects that Autoliv will develop could be sold to other car makers.
Volvo and Nvidia have teamed up before for Volvo's autonomous car pilot program, "Drive Me," but this the first time they have teamed up for a commercially available vehicle, which the company aims to launch in 2021.
Plenty of Fish in the AV Sea
The ever growing hype around driverless car technology — which has the potential to make our roads safer and faster — has encouraged several other notable players in the motor vehicle and computer industries to start developing their own variants of the technology. Volvo is another racehorse in stable of big-name, big-money ventures.
Also joining the race for the future of transport are: Tesla, who arguably pioneered driverless technology and have a potential industry changer in their hotly anticipated Model 3; Google, who have also entered the fray by launching — as Volvo did — a separate company called Google Auto LLC to develop their driverless cars; and Ford, who have gone as far to test their cars in snowy conditions last year.
There is, therefore, a huge amount of competition among car makers, which is exciting for our driverless future as it will lead to the best autonomous cars possible on our roads. Competition breeds innovation, after all.