Now, in the age of the smartphone and the digital revolution, car manufacturers are reinventing their business models to reinforce the car’s place at the center of 21st century society.
Global brands such as Renault and Nissan, who together with Mitsubishi comprise the Renault-Nissan Alliance and sell around 10 million cars per year, are developing connected car services and autonomous driving technologies to make car-driving a safer, more enjoyable and more productive activity.
Among the technologies that the Alliance is developing are diagnostic sensors that will track engine performance in real-time and alert the companies when any maintenance required.
Meanwhile, the organization is partnering with Microsoft to develop next-generation services for drivers using Microsoft’s Azure platform, explains Ogi Redzic, senior VP of connected vehicles and mobility services. “We want to produce connected vehicles that excite our customers,” Redzic says.
In the near future, Renault and Nissan drivers will be able to pay highway tolls or parking fees with a simple touch of a screen. Car owners will track and monitor their car from anywhere, through their mobile phone or laptop, perhaps transferring control to a friend or relative who needs the car—without any requirement to transfer a physical key.
At the same time, the Alliance is also partnering with technology leaders to develop autonomous driving services that will transform urban mobility. With Transdev, the organization is exploring ways in which fleets of electric driverless vehicles could be used for public and on-demand transportation.
“Cars are becoming increasingly connected, intelligent and personal.”
Ogi Redzic, Senior VP Connected Vehicles and Mobility Services,
Meanwhile, the Alliance is working with Japanese internet company DeNA to begin tests aimed at developing driverless vehicles for commercial services. To prepare for this revolution, the Alliance is hiring 300 experts in software development, cloud management and artificial intelligence.
“It is going to be very challenging for companies in any industry, not just the car industry, to add value in the future if they do not have access to the core digital skills,” Redzic says