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Swedish automotive major Volvo Group on Thursday announced the expansion of its research and development operations in India, which has become its largest development site outside Sweden. As part of the expansion in the country, Volvo Group Deputy CEO Jan Gurander laid the foundation for the 'Vehicle TechLab' for Volvo Group's research and development operations in India, the group said in a statement.

Gurander said the Volvo Group has one of the most ambitious SBTi (Science-Based Targets initiative) in the industry, targeting to achieve net-zero value chain greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2040, and cutting CO2 emissions of its vehicles by 40 per cent by 2030, when it aims 50 per cent of its trucks sold to be electric.

He further said to achieve this, the group is in the midst of a global organisation-wide business transformation to adopt emerging technologies, as well as new business models, across automation, electromobility and connectivity. By 2030, 50 per cent of group revenues will come from services and solutions.

"India is going to play a key role in this transformation journey as Volvo Group's largest R&D site outside Sweden, along with our other global support functions, is located here," Gurander said.

Volvo Group Trucks Technology in India employs more than 1,600 engineers, and this number will significantly increase in the coming years, the group said, adding the current set up includes a host of facilities such as vehicle garages, electrical and electronics lab, AR/VR lab, and access to proving grounds.

The group said its R&D operations in India have now become its largest development site outside Sweden. Earlier, in July 2021, it had launched CampX - Volvo Group's Global Innovation Arena - in India, the first site outside Sweden.

Volvo Group, India President & MD Kamal Bali said, "At Volvo Group in India, we are proud to be playing a key role in shaping the future of the global world of transportation."

The increased focus on product and project responsibility within Volvo Group's R&D operations in India, has led to a demand for a framework that will support the enhancement of product knowledge and prototype validation capability within India.

"Today, this capability is being enhanced with the set-up of the Vehicle TechLab - which is a first in the industry in India. This lab can house complete trucks, chassis and aggregates," the statement said.

It also has various supporting equipment for engineers to test, innovate, validate and experiment their ongoing work - through a set up equipped with driving simulators, test benches, 3D scanners among various other tools and systems.

"This Vehicle TechLab is designed as a collaborative virtual workspace - creating a simulated workshop environment - using technologies like virtual reality, human body motion tracking and realistic digital rendering of vehicles that allows Volvo Engineers across the globe to connect and collaborate virtually," Volvo Group Trucks Technology, India, Vice President CR Vishwanath said.

This facility will significantly reduce the development times, improve problem solving and offer better insights and speed in building innovative solutions, he added.

The projects being worked upon cover a range of areas such as general vehicle technology, electric, autonomous as well as connectivity solutions, the group said.