Renault and Google team up to develop a ‘software defined’ vehicle

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Details of Renault’s Scénic Vision concept car were presented to the public on May 19, 2022. The firm’s idea of developing a passenger vehicle that uses hydrogen technology is not unique.

Benjamin Girette | Bloomberg | Getty Images

French automaker Renault is partnering with Google to develop its cars like a tech company makes software.

The pact, which expands on a previous collaboration between the two firms, will see Renault commit to making what it calls a “software defined” vehicle using technology from Google’s cloud division.

Using artificial intelligence, the two companies plan to create a “digital twin” of a new vehicle. Digital twins aim to replicate physical objects in a virtual setting so that they can be tested and monitored before real-world deployment.

The deal will help Renault develop new onboard and offboard applications, the companies said. Renault will use data analytics to detect and resolve any failures in how the vehicle functions, and personalize users’ experience to adapt to often-used destinations, such as electric vehicle charging stations.

“The complexity of the electronic architecture of cars is increasing exponentially, driven by the sophistication of the functionalities and services expected by customers,” said Luca de Meo, CEO of Renault Group, in a statement Tuesday.

“Equipped with a shared IT platform, continuous over-the-air updates, and streamlined access to car data, the SDV approach developed in partnership with Google will transform our vehicles to help serve future customers’ needs.”

Renault first partnered with Google in 2018 to integrate the tech giant’s Android operating system into in-car media displays. The firm said it plans to eventually move its whole operational model to the cloud.

Commenting on the partnership Tuesday, Google CEO Sundar Pichai said it would “help accelerate Renault Group’s digital transformation by bringing together our expertise in the cloud, AI, and Android to provide for a secure, highly-personalized experience that meets customers’ evolving expectations.”  

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