Volvo and Autoliv team up with Nvidia for self-driving cars

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STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - Volvo Cars and Swedish car safety supplier Autoliv ALV.N have signed a deal with U.S. firm Nvidia Corp NVDA.O, best known for its graphics technology in computer games, to develop software systems for self-driving cars.

A joint venture between Volvo, owned by China’s Zhejiang Geely Holdings [GEELY.UL], and Autoliv will work with NVIDIA to develop systems that use artificial intelligence to recognize objects around vehicles, anticipate threats and navigate safely.

The venture set up last year, called Zenuity, will provide Volvo Cars with self-driving software which Autoliv will also be able to sell to other carmakers.

Volvo said it aims to have almost fully autonomous cars for sale by 2021.

Volvo has been using Nvidia’s artificial intelligence systems in a pilot of semi-autonomous vehicles in its home town Gothenburg in southern Sweden since the start of the year.

Nvidia, which also has partnerships with carmakers Toyota 7203.T, Audi NSUG.DE and Mercedes, is among the more popular technology partners in the self-driving car race.

German carmaker BMW BMWG.DE has joined forces with U.S. chipmaker Intel INTC.O and Mobileye MBLY.N, the Israeli vision system and mapping expert, to develop a self-driving platform, which is targeted for production in 2021.

U.S. parts maker Delphi Automotive DLPH.N and tyremaker Continental CONG.DE has since joined the tie-up.

In April, Germany's Daimler DAIGn.DE formed a similar alliance with supplier Robert Bosch ROBG.UL to speed development of self-driving vehicles.

Reporting by Simon Johnson; additional reporting by Edward Taylor in Frankfurt; editing by David Clarke