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Mobility of the future: Eversheds Sutherland advised Autoliv on autonomous driving joint venture Zenuity with Volvo Cars

  • Germany


    International law firm Eversheds Sutherland has advised Autoliv, the worldwide leader in automotive safety systems, in the formation of the joint venture “Zenuity” with Volvo Cars of Sweden for the development of software for autonomous driving and advanced driver assistance systems. It marks the first time a premium car maker has joined forces with a tier one supplier to develop leading advanced driver assist systems and autonomous driving technologies.

    Zenuity will develop advanced driver-assist systems (ADAS) and autonomous driving (AD) technologies. Autoliv has made a total investment of around 115 million Euros into the joint venture, the large majority of which is an initial cash contribution, but it also includes intellectual property, know-how and personnel. At the same time, Volvo Cars has contributed intellectual property, know-how and personnel into the joint venture.

    Zenuity has started its operations on 18 April 2017 with its headquarter in Gothenburg, Sweden, and with additional operations in Munich, Germany, and Detroit, USA. Zenuity’s initial workforce of close to 300 people is from Volvo Cars and Autoliv, as well as some new hires. The joint venture’s workforce is expected to grow to more than 600 employees in the medium term.

    Alexander Niethammer, partner at Eversheds Sutherland in Munich, comments: “The advice to Autoliv in regards of the Zenuity joint venture represents Eversheds Sutherland’s strong expertise in the automotive sector. We are therefore pleased to have supported this forward-looking technology co-operation in Germany and be part of a pioneering project in the digitization of the automotive sector.”

    Autoliv has been advised on the German elements of the joint venture by an Eversheds Sutherland team with Munich commercial partner Alexander Niethammer leading. Further team members included: Sven Schweneke, Dr Christian Mense (both partners), Martin Sanftleben, Kinga Leyrer (both associates), Ender Can Senkaya (business lawyer, all corporate/M&A), Jörg Käßner (counsel, tax, all Munich), Dr Rolf Kowanz (partner), Merle Templin (principal associate), Fabian Schöniger (associate, all employment, all Hamburg), Philipp Turnwald (counsel), Dr Nicolas Mähner, Dominik Sailer (both associates, all real estate, all Munich).


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