Google and the Renault Group extend their four-year partnership to develop an advanced software platform for future vehicles. This “software-defined vehicle” will be built on Google’s Android Automotive operating system and send data to the company’s cloud servers for processing, the companies announced.
In 2018, Renault signed a deal with Google as part of a wider partnership between the tech giant and the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance, which together are one of the largest auto groups in the world. As part of the deal, the Alliance announced it would use Google’s native car operating system, which offers a built-in Assistant, Maps and Play Store.
Renault appoints Google as ‘preferred cloud provider’
Today’s announcement, however, is only between Google and Renault. As such, it only applies to the French automaker’s four brands, Renault, Dacia, Alpine and Mobilize. Renault says it is designating Google as its preferred cloud provider. (Other automakers have switched to Amazon Web Services.)
That first deal was simply about putting Android in millions of new vehicles. Today’s announcement is a little more complicated. Google and Renault say they will work together to create a “Digital Twin” or a virtual copy of a vehicle with advanced artificial intelligence capabilities “for easier and continuous integration of new services into the vehicle and the creation of new designs.” board (In-Car Services) and offboard applications,” the companies announced.
Google and Renault claim that collaborating on software and testing new AI capabilities in a virtual simulation will help improve vehicle performance through enhanced, real-time diagnostics. The car will tell the driver when it needs maintenance or even fix the problem on its own. In addition, vehicle owners can create a personalized experience that includes driving behaviour, frequently visited destinations and charging points for electric vehicles. And insurance models can be built using real data from the car itself.
other car manufacturers are also developing software-defined vehicles as they race to compete with Tesla, which has come to define what customers expect from their vehicle’s software. The idea is that a vehicle is sold with a basic level of hardware and its functions are largely determined by the software, which can be updated and enhanced with over-the-air updates.
Google has been trying to get into the auto space for over a decade, but its efforts have been somewhat thwarted by automakers worried about competition. But the company has increasingly managed to control major automakers, including Ford, GM, Volvo, Honda and BMW.