[YesAuto News] under the impact of new technologies, automotive companies are seeking transition, Toyota, General Motors, Volkswagen and many other car firms have announced to the transition from the traditional automobile manufacturers to the mobile travel service providers, Volvo has pledged to strive to be Supplier of global mobility companies . In an interview with the media, Volvo CEO Hanken Samuelson said that Volvo does not intend to be a special car operator, but to become a partner of the operator and provide it with safe and reliable vehicle products.
After in-depth cooperation with Uber, a U.S. online car-hailing platform, in the field of autonomous driving, on November 1, Volvo reached a cooperation with Baidu. The two parties will jointly develop pure electric autonomous vehicles for the Chinese market and in the shared travel field. Hanken Samuelson introduced that the models cooperating with Baidu will be based on Volvo's existing electric vehicle platform, and are expected to be unveiled in three years for the high-end model market for shared travel.
Cooperation with Baidu is another important initiative for Volvo to deploy autonomous driving. On the one hand, Volvo has taken another step towards becoming a supplier of autonomous vehicles. On the other hand, this is also a key step for Volvo to explore the commercialization of autonomous driving in China.
Hanken Samuelson said that Volvo's development of autonomous driving faces two areas, private consumers and shared travel. In terms of the layout of autonomous driving models for the private market, Volvo and Olitov have cooperated. The two parties established a joint venture Zenuity with a 50:50 equity ratio to jointly develop autonomous driving and assisted driving systems.
When talking about Volvo's investment and achievements in the field of autonomous driving technology, Hanken Samuelson did not answer positively, but said that the plan to provide L4 level autonomous driving on Volvo XC90 models after 2021 is quite specific. He also introduced that Zenuity has 600 engineers responsible for software development, in addition to a team responsible for the redundant design of autonomous vehicles to ensure the safety of autonomous driving. At present, the XC60, S90 and XC90 based on Volvo SPA platform have been equipped with the second-generation Pilot Assist automatic driving assistance system, which can achieve 0-130 km/h without quasi-autonomous driving following the vehicle in front.
In the field of shared travel, Volvo has reached a cooperation with Uber in August 2016 to jointly develop self-driving vehicles and technologies. Uber will also purchase self-driving vehicles jointly developed by the two parties and produced by Volvo. In November 2017, Volvo Cars announced that it plans to provide Uber with 24,000 autonomous taxis starting in 2019. Hanken Samuelson said that the current cooperation with Uber is proceeding smoothly.
Autonomous driving has become one of the main directions of automobile development, and many auto companies are investing heavily in deployment. However, in terms of capital investment, test vehicle investment, road test cumulative mileage, commercial operation, etc., Google's self-driving company Waymo has already left auto companies far behind. According to Waymo's announcement, it has tested more than 700 vehicles, with a cumulative road test mileage of more than 10 million miles. At the same time, Waymo has tried to charge passengers in Arizona, USA, exploring the commercial operation of autonomous driving.
In the face of Waymo's strong rush, do car companies still have a chance to become the dominant player in this self-driving battle? We can't make a conclusion for the time being, after all, most car companies like Volvo have not yet revealed their final cards, and a more fierce fight may be yet to come.