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Google and Renault developing software for ‘the Vehicle of Tomorrow’

Google and French car make Renault have announced that they’re teaming up to develop the digital architecture for a so-called “Software Defined Vehicle” (or SDV) to produce “the Vehicle of Tomorrow”.

According to a press release issued by Renault Group, “The two partners will develop a set of onboard and offboard software components that are dedicated to the SDV and will grow synergies and use cases related to the group’s “Move to Cloud” strategy”.

As part of the deal, Google has been appointed as the preferred cloud supplier of Renault Group. Beyond that, the partnership will see the creation of a ‘Digital Twin’, or a virtual copy of a vehicle that features advanced AI “for an easier and continuous integration of new services into the vehicle and the creation of new onboard (In-Car Services) and offboard applications.”

With this Digital Twin in place, Renault cars will receive continuous over-the-air updates, much like a smartphone, which will bring new features and services. It’ll enable predictive maintenance and the real time fixing of certain issues, and a more personalised driving experience that does things like picking up on often-used destinations.i

This is a two way street, of course, and plenty of data will be flowing the other way. Renault claims that this will help with better insurance models, which will be based on actual usage and driving behaviors.

Renault Group CEO Luca de Meo also believes that adding such an advanced platform will “increase residual value and after-sales retention”.

As some of these comments suggest, the two companies have been working together on automotive cloud computing for some time. The American tech giant struck a deal with the wider Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance in 2018, with the goal of placing Google’s Android Auto platform at the heart of their cars.

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