Renault-Nissan Alliance Plans Mobility Services with Driverless Fleet
One of the most powerful aspects of autonomous driving is its ability to enhance other vehicular technologies either in development or currently available in the market today. For example, combining driverless platforms with electric vehicles can make transportation extremely efficient, without the use of traditional fuel and optimized, smooth navigation on public roads.
Another combination that seems to be gaining popularity in the automotive world is self-driving cars and mobility services. The untapped mobility niche is very broad, consisting of ride-sharing, car-sharing, senior transportation, public transportation and more. In order to stay ahead, the Nissan Motor and Renault SA alliance (Nissan-Renault Alliance) wants to pioneer the emerging industry by launching several mobility-focused services, such as ride-sharing and autonomous ride-hailing.
Analysts see the move as way to protect both businesses from the unpredictable nature of transportation trends. With the introduction of self-driving technology and the electrification of traditional, fuel-powered cars, the industry has been split into different paths. Some companies, like Waymo and Uber, are focused on disrupting private car ownership. While others, like Tesla, are diversifying to other in-demand sectors, including B2B and industrial trucking.
For the Nissan-Renault Alliance, the path it has chosen involves commercializing a combination of driverless cars and ride-hailing services. The group intends to roll out the autonomous mobility service within the latter half of the next decade. It will leverage its respective partnerships with DeNA, a Japanese software maker, and Transdev, a French mass transportation operator, to develop the foundational aspects of the system.
The alliance has selected a niche that is expected to grow at a rapid pace in the near future. Based on analysis provided by Goldman and Sachs, the ride-hailing industry is projected to grow up to eight times in the next 12 years, dethroning the conventional taxi market in the process.
All hands are on deck, when it comes to the development of autonomous platforms for the Nissan-Renault Alliance. According to Automotive News, the automakers and their partners are busy testing driverless technology – either in a vehicular manner via closed test tracks or behind a computer.
So far, Renault-Nissan is having a phenomenal year, from a sales perspective. The group has outsold numerous automakers at 3.02 million units. By comparison, Toyota sold 3.06 million units in the first four months of the year. Volkswagen group tops the list with 3.32 million vehicles sold during the same period.
To extend its presence in Asia, the alliance has special products planned for the Chinese market. Leveraging its 34 percent acquisition in Mitsubishi, which was completed in 2016, the organization plans on introducing low-cost electric vehicles in China.
"The combination of Nissan, Mitsubishi Motors and Renault will create a new force in global car-making. It will be one of the world's three largest automotive groups, with the economies of scale, breakthrough technologies and manufacturing capabilities to produce vehicles to serve customer demand in every market segment and in every geographic market around the world," said Nissan Chairman and CEO Carlos Ghosn.
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