XC90 Drive Me test vehicle (Photo: Volvo)
Riding on the coattails of Volvo's electrified Polestar announcement, the Swedish automaker has announced that it will move forward with self-driving vehicles.
Although we aren't sure how the new autonomous plans will affect Volvo's upcoming Polestar electric vehicle brand, the automaker told the press that it's officially entering a partnership with NVIDIA and Autoliv, with plans to have autonomous cars on the road by 2021. President and CEO of Volvo, Hakan Samuelsson, shared:
“This cooperation with NVIDIA places Volvo Cars, Autoliv and Zenuity at the forefront of the fast-moving market to develop next generation autonomous driving capabilities and will speed up the development of Volvo’s own commercially available autonomous drive cars."
XC90 Drive Me test vehicle
The Swedish automaker's press release pointed out that the new autonomous technology partnership will take on the name Zenuity. This will allow for the company to sell the tech to additional automakers. Volvo could benefit from having this as an option, in the event that the its self-driving vehicles don't catch on, or if the market takes off and others are looking to join the race quickly.
NVIDIA will supply the computer systems for the upcoming venture. Swedish-American automotive safety system designer, Autoliv, is said to be in charge of the software side of the equation. In the past, Volvo allowed Uber to use its vehicles for self-driving system testing, but this is the first announcement that puts the automaker in charge of developing its own systems.
Being that electric vehicles and autonomous vehicles tend to go hand-in-hand, and the recent Polestar electric concept announcement narrowly preceded this press release, one can assume that the electrified Polestar brand will largely benefit from the self-driving systems. However, despite speculation, Volvo has not yet publicly committed to this idea.
The NVIDIA system, which is named Drive PX, will use LiDAR, radar, and ultrasonic sensors. It will have the computing ability to utilize data from a dozen streaming videos at a time. The system was already tested by Volvo and NVIDIA in an initiative called 'Drive Me'.
This is not a new concept for NVIDIA. Toyota is currently using the same system, and the tech company is already working with Bosch, XF, Audi, Porsche, Mercedes-Benz, and Tesla. NVIDIA is also supplying its self-driving expertise and systems to EV startup, NIO.