|Publicly traded corporation|
Autoliv Inc. is the world's largest automotive safety supplier with sales to all leading car manufacturers worldwide. Together with its joint ventures, Autoliv has over 70,000 employees in 27 countries, of whom 8000 are involved in research, development and engineering. In addition, the company has 22 technical centers around the world, including 19 test tracks, more than any other automotive safety supplier. The group is among the biggest Tier 1 automotive suppliers in the world, with annual revenues exceeding USD 10 billion, and is part of the Fortune 500, ranking #283 in 2017. Autoliv Inc. is incorporated in Delaware, USA and headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden. It runs its business through two business segments: Passive Safety and Electronics. The company's shares are listed on the New York Stock Exchange and its Swedish Depository Receipts on the OMX Stockholm Stock Exchange.
Autoliv was founded in Vårgårda, Sweden in the form of Auto Service AB in 1953 by Lennart Lindblad. In 1956, the company became a pioneer in seat belt technology when it began production of two-point seat belts. The name of the company was changed to Autoliv AB in 1968. It was bought in 1974 by Granges Weda AB, inventors of the retractable seat belt. Granges Weda was acquired in turn in 1989 by Electrolux and changed its name to Electrolux Autoliv AB. During the 1980s and 1990s, the company grew through acquisitions, mainly in Europe. Between 1994 and 1997 the company was listed on the Stockholm Stock Exchange under the name of Autoliv AB and in 1997 it merged with the American firm Morton ASP Inc to form Autoliv Inc. In 2016, Autoliv and Nissin announced the creation of a joint new company Autoliv-Nissin Brake Systems. In 2017, Autoliv and Volvo Cars formed Zenuity, a jointly-owned company to develop the next generation of autonomous driving software. In September of 2017, the company announced that it was mulling a split into two entities.
The company develops, manufactures and markets passive safety systems (estimated market share of approximately 39%) such as airbags, seatbelts, steering wheels, passive safety electronics and active safety systems (estimated market share of approximately 25%) including brake control systems, radar, night vision and camera vision systems. It also produces pedestrian protection systems. Passive safety systems are primarily meant to improve vehicle safety. The objective of active safety systems is to intervene before an imminent accident in order to avoid it completely or reduce its impact. Active safety products in Autoliv's portfolio include automotive radars, night driving assist, camera-based vision systems, brake controls and other active safety systems. Autoliv's radar sensors were notably used by Uber in their self-driving taxi pilot project in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Since 2014, Autoliv's active safety products have increasingly sought to gain market share in the fast moving sector of automated driving. The company is today among the most active automotive suppliers in the autonomous vehicles industry. The company has lately escalated efforts to collaborate with and acquire companies with expertise in LiDAR, vision, GPS and mapping technologies. In 2015, the company announced the acquisition of M/A-COM's automotive equipment business which will expand Autoliv's capabilities in active safety and augment its GPS and Mapping division. The same year, Autoliv commenced the "Drive Me" partnership venture with Volvo to offer semi-autonomous features in vehicles in Gothenburg, Sweden. In September 2016, Autoliv and Volvo announced the creation of a joint new company for autonomous driving. The company, named Zenuity, formally began operations in January 2017. It will develop systems for use in Volvo vehicles and for sale exclusively by Autoliv. In June 2017, it was also announced that Autoliv would use its extensive expertise in manufacturing and validation to collaborate with Velodyne, the worldwide leader in LiDAR technology, to produce Velodyne's various LiDAR sensors. Collaboration with Velodyne is expected to be complimented by Autoliv's subsequent acquisition of Fotonic, a Swedish company with expertise in LiDAR and Time of Flight (ToF) cameras.