Volvo Cars' technology chief, Henrik Green, believes that the Android-based infotainment system that the automaker developed with Google is one of the best on the market.
So, after the system launched in Volvo's first full-electric car, the XC40 Recharge, and the Polestar 2, Green and his team wanted answers to two questions:
- How do we scale this to add it to more cars in the Geely Group?
- Can we efficiently scale it beyond the Geely Group?
The answer to both questions was, yes, but Volvo would need a partner, which is why it set up a joint venture with Chinese technology company ECARX.
Green said the most important benefit from the partnership for Volvo is that it will be able to rapidly scale its current and future software-driven solutions, speeding up their introductions.
When asked for an example, Green said Volvo was able to scale the XC40 Recharge's infotainment system to its recently debuted C40 Recharge in less than a year. By comparison, he said it took Volvo three years to develop the infotainment system from scratch.
He conceded that the two cars are "extremely similar," but emphasized that the example shows the potential available to rapidly expand new technology throughout Volvo's lineup.
The JV will be able to offer a similar benefit to sibling brands also controlled by Volvo's owner, Zhejiang Geely Holding Group, as well as third parties.