Volvo Cars, the Chinese owned car maker, and NVIDIA, an artificial intelligence (AI) computing firm, are joining forces for the development of an advanced, AI-capable core computer for the next generation of Volvo cars.
The agreement deepens the existing collaboration and partnership between Volvo Cars and NVIDIA. Last year, the companies started joint development of advanced systems and software for self-driving cars.
Adding advanced 360-degree perception capabilities and a driver-monitoring system, the core computer will help Volvo Cars safely introduce fully autonomous cars.
The core computer is based on NVIDIA’s DRIVE AGX Xavier technology and will allow Volvo Cars to implement an advanced computing platform for its new cars on the forthcoming Scalable Product Architecture 2 (SPA 2) vehicle platform. The first car with the new core computer will appear early next decade.
The new computing platform will use NVIDIA’s advances in AI as well as its unrivaled computing power, allowing Volvo Cars to take considerable steps forward in implementing advanced driver-support systems, energy-management technology and in-car personalization options.
“A successful launch of autonomous drive will require an enormous amount of computing power as well as constant advances in artificial intelligence,” said Håkan Samuelsson, President and Chief Executive of Volvo Cars. “Our agreement with NVIDIA is an important piece of that puzzle and helps us to safely introduce fully autonomous Volvo cars to our customers.”
The forthcoming SPA 2 vehicle architecture is the next generation of Volvo Cars’ SPA modular vehicle architecture, which forms the basis of all new 90 series and 60 series cars launched in recent years. They have been part of the operational and financial improvements of Volvo Cars since 2010.
SPA 2 claims to take the existing advantages of the modular SPA architecture and adds next-generation technologies in areas such as electrification, connectivity and autonomous drive. The core computer plays a key role in this process and provides a much easier route towards regular over-the-air software updates.
Volvo Car Group in 2017
For the 2017 financial year, Volvo Car Group recorded an operating profit of 14,061 MSEK (11,014 MSEK in 2016). Revenue over the period amounted to 210,912 MSEK (180,902 MSEK). For the full year 2017, global sales reached a record 571,577 cars, an increase of 7% versus 2016. Volvo has been in operation since 1927. Today, Volvo Cars has sales in about 100 countries. Volvo Cars has been under the ownership of the Zhejiang Geely Holding (Geely Holding) of China since 2010. It formed part of the Swedish Volvo Group until 1999, when the company was bought by Ford Motor Company of the US. In 2010, Volvo Cars was acquired by Geely Holding.
In 2017, Volvo Cars employed on average approximately 38,000 (30,400) full-time employees. Volvo Cars’ head office, product development, marketing and administration functions are mainly located in Gothenburg, Sweden. Volvo Cars’ head office for China is in Shanghai. The company’s main car production plants are in Gothenburg (Sweden), Ghent (Belgium), Chengdu, Daqing (China) and Charleston (USA), while engines are manufactured in Skövde (Sweden) and Zhangjiakou (China), and body components in Olofström (Sweden).