It is interesting to see Volvo and Autoliv taking the opportunity to pool their intellectual property (IP) and developer talents relating to driver assistance and autonomous driving software. The newly established company will doubtless create world class IP in this space as it plans to position Volvo and also generate new revenue streams from licensing to the technology other vehicle manufacturers.
However there is likely to be more to the strategy than merely generating additional revenue streams. The opportunity for the combined technical team to create and capture IP critical to others in the sector gives both parties a level of security as technology giants like Apple and Google continue to bring innovation to the sector.
Risks are high with these levels of disruption and savvy companies will monitor the evolving landscape closely. IP intelligence tools can help companies spot prevailing technology trends and interesting companies early. Used correctly they can also help identify opportunities to procure IP or embark upon technical collaborations. This way savvy companies can be nimble and gain commercial leverage over peers. Risks and technology access costs can be minimised by smart use of IP intelligence to achieve more effective IP strategies.
The deal, with Autoliv – which is responsible for manufacturing everything from seatbelts and airbags, through to more technological safety kit like night vision and radar sensors – will see new driver-assist and autonomous driving software developed for use both by Volvo and other automakers.