Renault-Nissan setup in-house startup to focus on core mobility tech for self-driving vehicles

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With Uber and Google already running on road self-driving vehicle tests, automobile makers don’t want to be left out of this innovative revolution. They don’t want to be stuck providing the basic chassis(i.e cars), but also participate in the development of software technologies as well.

Thus, to speed up the development of its self-driving tech, Renault-Nissan Alliance has today announed a new, internal startup initiative that focuses on software, cloud engineering, machine learning and big-data analytics. The company aims to become a leader in self-driving vehicles and plans to launch a fleet of ten cars of its own by 2020.

Nissan is, thus, setting up a 300-member strong team which will be spear-headed by company’s Senior VP Ogi Redzic. Prior to joining the alliance in January, Redzic garnered immense experience during his stint at HERE, the mapping service previously owned by Nokia. The primary aim of this team will be to develop some of the most core technologies related to connected cars and mobility services of the future.

Commenting on hiring high-tech talent, CEO Carlos Ghosn said,

We’re seeking those with expertise in software and cloud engineering, data analytics, machine learning and systems architecture. I expect the global auto industry to see more changes in the next five years than it has in the last 20. Those changes will bring tremendous opportunities for those with the skills and talents to help the Alliance.

One might recognize Nissan as an automobile manufacturer that’s decades old, but it is now stepping up to form this alliance to on-board talent that can think and run the new division as a startup. It no longer wants to operate or be recognized as just a clunky old four-wheeler manufacturer. Thus, the alliance has recently added expert engineers to its team with the acquisition of French software company Sylpheo. Their team of forty engineers will now work within the newly setup startup to help speed the expansion of connected services.

Today, most of the automotive and technology giants are pumping in money, resources and talent into the rapid development of their self-driving vehicles. Whereas some others like Google have spent the past ten years perfecting their self-driving tech and are still not completely ready for public tests. Nissan, hence, wants to be a part of this large industry trend, and introduce alternative connected mobility solutions for the masses.



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