Volvo Cars’ autonomous driving (AD) software development subsidiary Zenseact has received a strategic investment from ECARX, the privately owned Chinese provider of cutting-edge connected car technology, founded by Eric Li, chairman of Volvo Cars and its parent Zhejiang Geely Holding Group, and Ziyu Shen, CEO of ECARX, in 2016.
The strategic investment and planned collaboration with ECARX is designed to strengthen Zenseact’s presence in China, the world’s largest automotive market, allowing it to accelerate technology deployment across the Geely group of brands and beyond.
ECARX will take a 15% shareholding in Zenseact, which is also working with lidar technology firm Luminar to commercialise a complete AD offering.
“Zenseact is a pioneer in self-driving technology, and this strategic investment from ECARX enables us to scale up quicker in China,” said Håkan Samuelsson, chief executive of Volvo Cars and chairman of the board at Zenseact. “The investment strengthens our footprint in China and gives Zenseact a clear way to grow more quickly.”
Zenseact’s first delivery will be technology for next-generation Volvo and Polestar cars, such as active safety features and an unsupervised AD function for highways.
“The time has come to take top-end AD and ADAS services to more Chinese consumers,” said Ödgärd Andersson, chief executive at Zenseact. “ECARX is an innovative tech company with a strong presence in China. Drivers across China will soon be able to access a new software- and AI-defined safety where we can help avoid accidents, save lives and make riding and driving more enjoyable.”
The tie-up between Volvo Cars and ECARX follows a separate recent collaboration between the companies in infotainment.