Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi tie-up with Google to enhance customer experience

Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi and Google has partnered to embed the Android operating system in vehicles sold by the automotive Alliance. Scheduled to start in 2021, this will provide intelligent infotainment and customer focused-applications across multiple models and brands.

Under the technology partnership, vehicles sold by the Alliance members in many markets will utilise Android and will provide turn-by-turn navigation with Google Maps. This includes access to a rich ecosystem of automotive apps on the Google Play Store and also have the ability to answer calls and texts, control media, find information, and manage vehicle functions with voice using the built in Google Assistant.

The Alliance will integrate Google applications and services into infotainment and cloud-based systems to enhance the experience for customers of Renault, Nissan and Mitsubishi Motors brands. While a range of Alliance vehicles will share the Android platform, each brand will have the flexibility to create a unique customer interface and specific features on top of the common Android platform.

The infotainment partnership is also part of the Alliance move to equip more vehicles with connectivity and cloud-based services as part of its 2022 mid-term plan. Under the plan, Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi is targeting increased sales of more than 14 million units a year by the end of 2022.

In addition, the plan also involves the launch of 12 new zero-emission electric vehicles, new autonomous-driving technologies and the ongoing roll-out of the Alliance Intelligent Cloud. The Alliance Intelligent Cloud will provide next-generation infotainment systems with secure connectivity by offering a platform to integrate data management, infotainment systems and to facilitate over-the- air upgrades and remote diagnostics in Alliance member-company vehicles.

Drivers and passengers will be able to leverage Google and Android's capabilities to access an ecosystem that includes thousands of existing applications and an array of new apps. This integration, combined with the knowledge and community of developers, will enable easy in-vehicle access to popular applications and this system will also be compatible with devices running other operating systems, such as Apple iOS.

Hadi Zablit, senior vice president of business development at Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi, said that this partnership with Google will offer owners of its vehicles rich user experiences that are currently available only outside the vehicle or, to a limited extent, by connecting an Android device to supported vehicles. The Alliance members are also building connected on-board/off-board experiences into its vehicles in addition to the features of Google applications and services that many users are accustomed to, including Google Maps, the Google Assistant and the Google Play Store.

"With the integration of the Android platform into our infotainment systems, we are adding a new level of intelligence to our connected vehicles. In the future, the Google Assistant, which employs Google's leading AI technology, can become the main way customers interact with their vehicles, hands-free. With Google Maps and the Google Assistant embedded in Alliance infotainment systems, our customers will have some of the most advanced AI based applications at their fingertips. And with in-vehicle access to the Google Play Store, our customers will enjoy an open and secure ecosystem of Android apps engineered for vehicles," Kal Mos, global vice president of Alliance connected vehicles at Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi said.

Hiroshi Lockheimer, senior vice president of platforms and ecosystems at Google, said that Google and Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi share a common vision of delivering an "intelligent, safe and seamless" in-car experience with apps and services that are familiar, upgradable and connected. Google is "thrilled" to partner with Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi to bring the Google Assistant, Google Maps, and other popular apps via the Play Store and Android to drivers and passengers around the world, he added.