Volvo Cars has announced plans to set up a new development centre in Poland. The new ‘Tech Hub’ in Krakow will have full responsibility for software development for key features of the manufacturer’s new all-electric cars.
As such, the Krakow ‘Tech Hub’ is to play a crucial role in Volvo Cars’ plan to become an all-electric brand by 2030, according to the Swedish manufacturer’s statement. The new development centre in Krakow is expected to start operations by the end of this year with around 120 engineers and employ 500 to 600 people from the middle of the decade.
The software development contracts for the electric Volvos include, for example, “core safety technology based on our comprehensive understanding of the causes of accidents”, but also, for example, perception and driver assistance algorithms and software for autonomous driving. In other words, software elements that were previously often sourced from suppliers and “only” applied to a carmaker’s own vehicles by its engineers.
Further, the new Krakow team will also support Volvo outside of pure software development for the vehicles. For example, “next-generation connected functions” are also to be designed and all development work at Volvo Cars is to be supported by data analysis.
The decision for Krakow as the location of the Tech Hub was made after “much deliberation”, according to Volvo. The city is an “emerging technology centre with a broad network of technology companies in the region”. There is also a large telecoms sector – which has proved to be a good source of future staff at Volvo’s other engineering centres. It is also the first carmaker to have a significant engineering presence in Krakow, which Volvo hopes will attract more top talent.
“We’re a purpose-led and technology-driven company, so our new generation of Volvo cars will be more than just transport,” says Volvo CEO Jim Rowan. “They’ll be computers on wheels, designed to be updated over the air with new software. That means our Krakow tech hub and growing our in-house software development capabilities are key to our future success.”
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