Volvo Cars has announced plans to set up a new joint venture with Geely-backed tech company ECARX to develop and commercialise infotainment system platforms, which will benefit both parties as well as the wider Geely group of companies.

According to the Swedish carmaker, the joint venture will continue and expand the development of its infotainment system based on the Android Automotive operating system with Google apps and services built-in.

Such systems already exist in Volvo and Polestar models like the XC40 Recharge as well as the Polestar 2. Future infotainment system platforms that are created from the partnership will be made available to Volvo, Geely and affiliate brands, while also being supplied to third parties through ECARX. The joint venture will also explore the use of automotive services in the China market and hardware from ECARX.

“The infotainment system in Volvo’s latest cars is one of the best on the market, rivaling mobile phones in user experience,” said Henrik Green, chief technology officer at Volvo Cars. “Through this joint venture, we can speed up development of the system, bring high quality infotainment to more cars and maximise incentives for companies and developers to create great services and apps for the users of the platform,” he added.

ECARX is no stranger to infotainment systems either, with its Android-based systems being made available for brands such as Geely Auto, Lynk & Co and Proton. The GKUI system is an example of the company’s work and is being used in several models like the Boyue Pro, X70 and X50.

“With profound accumulation in in-vehicle infotainment systems and the intelligent connected field, ECARX is committed to becoming the leading power in automotive intelligence technology in China,” commented Ziyu Shen, chief executive officer at ECARX.

“This joint venture will be another important move for ECARX’s globalisation strategy. It will start the partnership between ECARX and Volvo Cars, integrates their respective technical advantages to bring global consumers connected infotainment experiences that lead the industry, and paves the way for further cooperation,” he continued.

The joint venture will be headed by Jan-Erik Larsson, who is currently the head of R&D in China for Volvo Cars. After final negotiations and agreements between the parties, the newly-formed company is set to become operational in the third quarter of 2021.