Nis­san hir­ing 300 to de­velop com­mon con­nected car tech­nol­ogy

Malta Independent - - TECHNOLOGY -

The top ex­ec­u­tive over­see­ing con­nected ve­hi­cles at Nis­san and Re­nault be­lieves the ben­e­fits of de­vel­op­ing a com­mon tech­nol­ogy for con­nec­tiv­ity within the Ja­panese and French auto part­ner­ship out­weigh the risks of sus­tain­ing huge dam­age from a pos­si­ble de­fect or cyberattack.

Ogi Redzic, se­nior vice pres­i­dent at the Re­nault-Nis­san Al­liance, over­sees such con­nected ser­vices, in­clud­ing stay­ing con­nected with fam­ily, nav­i­gat­ing best routes and re­mote con­trol of ve­hi­cles — an area where all the world's au­tomak­ers are try­ing to gain an edge.

Redzic, for­merly of Mo­torola and Nokia, was tapped for the post at the al­liance ear­lier this year. He told re­porters Tuesday at Nis­san's Yoko­hama head­quar­ters that the al­liance has be­gun hir­ing 300 peo­ple to build such soft­ware ap­pli­ca­tions for fu­ture cars, in ad­di­tion to 300 em­ploy­ees at Nis­san Mo­tor Co. and 300 at Re­nault SA, al­ready work­ing on the ef­fort.

Nis­san-Re­nault hopes to lead in con­nected ve­hi­cles, in ad­di­tion to green cars and self-driv­ing cars, the two other in­creas­ingly vi­tal auto tech­nolo­gies.

But Redzic was vague about what might be ex­pected, although he stressed Nis­san hopes to be dif­fer­ent from ri­vals in the con­nected ser­vices, even if com­pa­nies co­op­er­ate on a stan­dard tech­nol­ogy.

He stressed that Nis­san-Re­nault plans to work on a sin­gle plat­form across the al­liance, in­clud­ing lux­ury mod­els.

Nis­san-Re­nault will also be seek­ing out part­ner­ships. Last month, the al­liance said it had a part­ner­ship with Mi­crosoft Corp. to de­velop next-gen­er­a­tion con­nected ser­vices for cars pow­ered by Mi­crosoft Azure, one of the com­pany's cloud of­fer­ings.

But the part­ner­ship with Mi­crosoft is not ex­clu­sive, mean­ing ri­vals could come up with sim­i­lar ser­vices. Toy­ota Mo­tor Corp., Nis­san's Ja­panese ri­val, for in­stance, has es­tab­lished an in­ter­nal com­pany fo­cused on con­nected ve­hi­cles.

Redzic said be­ing first with a ser­vice ahead of ri­vals would be one way to beat the com­pe­ti­tion.

"The global au­to­mo­tive in­dus­try is at a strate­gic turn­ing point, and the Re­nault-Nis­san Al­liance is pi­o­neer­ing the trans­for­ma­tion in EVs, au­ton­o­mous driv­ing and con­nec­tiv­ity fea­tures on main­stream, mass-mar­ket ve­hi­cles at af­ford­able prices," he said, us­ing the acro­nym for elec­tric ve­hi­cles.

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