Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Announce Deal with Google to Embed Android OS in Vehicles

Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Announce Deal with Google to Embed Android OS in Vehicles

Author: Xiaoli Tian   

The Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance and Google have announced a tech partnership to embed the Android Operating System (OS) in vehicles sold by the three automakers starting in 2021. The Android OS allows a driver to use Android and Google apps in their vehicle without having to connect a smartphone. The apps are accessible from vehicle's display, with an easy to use driver-friendly interface.

As part of the partnership, vehicles sold by the Alliance will be embedded with the Android OS, the world's most popular mobile operating system. Drivers will have access to turn-by-turn navigation with Google Maps, as well as to the ecosystem of automotive apps on available from the Google Play Store.

In addition, drivers will be able use the built in Google Assistant, so they can answer calls and texts, control media, request information, and manage vehicle functions using just their voice.

Each vehicle brand will have flexibility to create a unique customer interface personalized with specific features— built on top of the common core Android platform. This allows each automakers the ability to design a custom user interface and apps specific to each model.


The Android Auto interface shown in a Ford model

The Alliance members sold 10.6 million vehicles in 200 markets in 2017.  Under the plan, Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi is targeting increased sales of more than 14 million units a year by the end of 2022.

The Alliance is focusing on next-generation connected technology. The infotainment partnership forms part of Alliance aims to equip more vehicles with connectivity, known as V2V or V2I communication, and cloud-based services as part of its Alliance 2022 mid-term plan.

Vehicle-to-Vehicle communication (V2V) allows vehicles to communicate with other vehicles nearby. For example, if there is an accident ahead, nearby vehicles can be notified and the system can send turn-by-turn directions to reroute each vehicle. Using connected technology, vehicles can also communicate with smart city infrastructure (V2I), such as traffic signals, which can be timed to reduce traffic jams based on real-time traffic data.

The Alliance Intelligent Cloud

The plan also involves the launch of 12 new zero-emission electric vehicles, new autonomous-driving technologies and the rollout of the Alliance Intelligent Cloud, a secure way to transfer data between the cloud and the connected vehicles.

The Alliance Intelligent Cloud provides next-generation infotainment systems with secure connectivity in a platform which integrates data management, infotainment systems and facilitates over-the-air upgrades and remote diagnostics for Alliance 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 future apps. The system will also be compatible with devices running other operating systems, such as Apple's iPhone.

"Our partnership with Google will offer owners of our 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. We are building powerful connected and seamless on-board / off-board experiences into our 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." Hadi Zablit, Senior VP of Business Development at Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi said in a statement.

Kal Mos, Global Vice President of Alliance Connected Vehicles at Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi, added, "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."

The Android Auto OS is part of the Open Automotive Alliance led by Google and was announced at CES in January 2014. It is a joint effort between 28 automobile manufacturers including Mercedes Benz, Ford, Audi and Volvo to collaborate around a common, connected car platform. Hardware partners include Nvidia, Panasonic, LG and Aptiv.

Xiaoli Tian
Xiaoli Tian
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