Volvo opens software test centre in Gothenburg
At around 22,000 square metres, Volvo says it is “the new flagship in our network of development centres and tech hubs around the world”. Volvo Cars also operates software test centres in Lund (Sweden) and Shanghai (China), but the new centre in Gothenburg is by far the largest in terms of size and capacity.
Initially, around 100 people will be employed here. Once the new test centre is fully utilised, the number is expected to grow to 300. In future, the site will house around 500 test benches and digital test environments, compared to almost 200 at present. The Swedish company put the initial investment at 300 million Swedish kronor, currently around 25.7 million euros.
Volvo also states that it needs this new capacity “because as our flagship EX90 shows, the automotive industry is changing rapidly”, the statement says. In May, Volvo had admitted that production of the EX90 E-SUV and Polestar 3 would be delayed until the first half of 2024 because it needed “additional time for software development and testing”.
However, it is still not known exactly in which areas of the vehicle the additional software work has become necessary. The current announcement only describes the challenges in general terms: “The Volvo car of the future is fully electric, increasingly sold online, powered by cutting-edge core computers running in-house developed software and constantly improves over time thanks to regular over-the-air software updates.” As a result, he said, in-house software development and testing is “critical to realising our strategic ambitions”.
“This is a state-of-the-art facility that will be the hub for our global software testing and validation activities,” says Anders Bell, global head of research and development at Volvo Cars. “Developers from all our global engineering sites and tech hubs can run software tests here remotely, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. I firmly believe that with this new testing centre, we’ve set a new benchmark for the automotive industry.”
Alwin Bakkenes, global head of software engineering, adds: “The aim is to boost our innovation speed by developing software for key areas for Volvo Cars – from core safety technology based on our deep understanding of what causes accidents, to our perception and driver assistance algorithms and software for future autonomous driving.”