Zenuity, the joint venture between Geely's Volvo Cars and safety systems supplier Autoliv, has started operations.

It is a new entrant in the growing global market for autonomous driving software systems. It marks the first time a premium car maker has joined forces with a tier one supplier to develop advanced driver-assist systems (ADAS) and autonomous driving (AD) technologies.

"Volvo Cars combined its know-how with Autoliv's to create a world leader in autonomous driving safety systems. With Zenuity starting operations, we move a step closer to delivering this exciting technology," said Hakan Samuelsson, president and chief executive officer of Volvo Cars.

"Zenuity will enable us to deliver world-leading, robust solutions for autonomous driving. The combined experience of Autoliv, the worldwide leader in automotive safety systems, and Volvo Cars, the premium car maker, will ensure solutions that meet the needs of car occupants in real life road conditions", said Jan Carlson, chairman, president and CEO of Autoliv.

"In the past nine months, we have worked hard to get Zenuity started and I am very pleased that we are now ready to start operations. The initial interest from automakers is very encouraging and we look forward to being a leader in the development of the next generation of safer and more automated cars," said Dennis Nobelius, CEO of Zenuity.

Autoliv is spending around SEK1.1bn on the joint venture, the large majority of which is an initial cash contribution, but it also includes intellectual property, know-how and personnel. Volvo Cars will contribute intellectual property, know-how and personnel.

As previously announced, Volvo Cars and Autoliv own the joint venture 50/50.

Both Volvo Cars and Autoliv license and transfer intellectual property for their ADAS systems to the joint venture. From this base, it will develop new ADAS products and AD technologies. Zenuity is expected to have its first ADAS products available for sale by 2019 with AD technologies following shortly after.

Autoliv is the exclusive supplier and distribution channel for all Zenuity's products sold to third parties and there will be no exclusivity toward any customer or the owners. Volvo Cars can source such products directly from the joint venture.