With over-the-air software updates to modern cars becoming more commonplace, the car itself evolves over time and improves in the hands of the owner who can specify exactly what updates they want and need.

Volvo describes its cars as hardware designed, but software-defined and, as part of that strategy, has opened a new, state-of-the-art software testing centre in Gothenburg, Sweden. 

“At a size of around 22 000 square meters and representing an initial investment of around R517-million, our new software testing centre is the new flagship in our network of engineering centres and Tech Hubs around the world. We also operate software test centres in Lund, Sweden and Shanghai, China, but our new Gothenburg facility is by far the largest in terms of size and capacity,” says Anders Bell, global head of R&D. 

“We’re going to need that capacity, because as our EX90 flagship demonstrates, the automotive industry is rapidly changing. 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. 

“That makes in-house software development and testing key to achieving our strategic ambitions, which include being an industry leader in new technology and a fully electric car company by 2030. 

“This is a state-of-the-art facility that will be the hub for our global software testing and validation activities,” said Anders Bell, our global head of R&D. 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.” 

The new software testing facility will initially employ around 100 people, a figure that is expected to grow to 300 once the testing centre is running at full capacity. Eventually the site will house around 500 testing rigs and digital test environments, up from almost 200 right now. 

“Our growing ranks of software engineers work on a wide variety of exciting challenges,” says Alwin Bakkenes, our global head of software engineering. “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.” 

Other software engineering challenges include developing our next-generation connected features, and supporting all our development work through data analytics. We’re actively recruiting software engineers at our various locations around the globe.

Colin Windell - proudly ALL THINGS MOTORING