Two A-Players As Partners: Volvo and Waymo

In the scene around autonomous driving, there is a lot going on. A few days ago the news went around that Daimler and BMW are ending their recently announced cooperation to develop autonomous driving. Daimler then announced a partnership with chip manufacturer Nvidia, whose AI chips will be fitted in Daimler cars from 2024, while BMW defiantly said that the partnership with Intel’s Mobileye was going better than the partnership with Daimler anyway.

Today Waymo and Volvo announced a partnership in Level 4 autonomous driving. And this partnership makes perfect sense for Volvo. As a premium car manufacturer that has benefited greatly from its new China-based owner Geely, it makes sense to partner with an A-player in software development as an A-player in automotive engineering. Waymo is the undisputed technology leader in the development of autonomous driving.

This is cooperation as it should be. The Swedish manufacturer, much smaller than Daimler or BMW, has experienced an upswing in recent years, both in terms of sales figures and technology. The electric Polestar is expected on the market soon.

Meanwhile, Daimler and BMW were involved in the diesel scandal and trumped up more and more new announcements about old combustion technologies than electric cars, and a disbelief in the sense of autonomous driving. This then manifested itself in the partnerships. Two manufacturers (Daimler and BMW), who know little about software, joined forces to build software. Two C-players in software construction jointly build software.

Daimler has found a better partner in the Nvidia partnership, but Nvidia is above all an electronics hardware manufacturer. Much more important is the software, the AI and the data to enable serious autonomous driving. And that’s where the small Swedish manufacturer sets the pace by joining forces with the A-Player Waymo.

This article was also published in German.

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