As electric vehicle (EV) adoption grows and the EV market expands, designers and manufacturers are beginning to rethink their approach to car development.
Some of the most obvious signs of this evolution are the software updates that EVs have become famous for. Instead of being dependent and limited by their hardware, vehicles are increasingly dependent on their software and computer intelligence. This reliance on software gives manufacturers a unique opportunity to differentiate themselves from the competition and allows users to benefit from a more personalized driving experience.
Surprisingly, one manufacturer that has only recently jumped on the EV bandwagon, despite company claims that the future is all-electric, is Renault. Despite the company’s small range of electric vehicles, rumors and hints of an upcoming Renault 5 EV seem to reinforce Groupe Renault’s commitment to a sustainable future.
According to Groupe Renault’s press release, a new partnership with Google and Qualcomm could evolve Renault’s future EVs in a rather unique way.
Renault will use Google’s AI to transfer development to the cloud.
According to the press release, Renault and Google are expanding their collaboration in the automotive sector, Groupe Renault creating a new software company called Ampere. This new company will focus on the development of hardware and software for fully electric vehicles to be sold under the Renault brand, with an emphasis on what Renault calls Software-Defined Vehicle (SDV) technology. Renault will use Ampere to bolster its vehicle development in a number of ways.
New company: Ampere
Ampere’s software will refine Renault’s in-car experience to deliver a more personal experience for end users through Qualcomm’s Snapdragon digital chassis, and leverage Google’s Android Automotive platform and cloud resources to create a “digital twin”. According to Google, the “digital twin” is an AI-enhanced, cloud-based virtual replica of a vehicle that can be used by Renault and Ampere to refine, develop and test in-vehicle services, analyze and adapt to the behavior of the driver, and detect and prevent breakdowns in real time.
Renault plans to launch its first open SDV platform by 2026, in the FlexEVan — a light commercial vehicle that will use SDV technology for fleet management, which Renault says will lead to a 30% cost reduction for fleet operators. It remains to be seen how these developments will improve the company’s consumer products, as Renault has not provided a target for consumer vehicles developed with this new technology.