Google and Renault are creating a 'software-defined vehicle'

The new vehicle will feature the best of Google's Cloud technology with Renault's car expertise.
Written by Sabrina Ortiz, Editor
Image: Getty Images/Witthaya Prasongsin

In 2018, Google partnered with Renault Group to bring Android-powered infotainment systems to cars. The two companies are now building on this partnership to design and deliver the digital architecture for a more complex concept, a "software-defined vehicle" (SDV). 

This partnership has a twofold goal of creating both in-vehicle software and cloud software to enable the SDV platform and a Digital Twin, according to the release.

The term "Digital Twin" refers to the copy of a vehicle that will feature the most advanced AI capabilities "for an easier and continuous integration of new services into the vehicle and the creation of new onboard (In-Car Services) and offboard applications," according to the company. 

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A SDV with over-the-air, continuous upgrades will build on the existing Android Automotive Operating System and Google Cloud technology collaboration. Renault will leverage Google's Cloud technology to securely manage data capture and analytics. They'll also use Google's ML and AI capabilities. 

"Our collaboration with Renault Group has improved comfort, safety, and connectivity on the road," Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google and Alphabet, said in a statement. 

"Today's announcement will help accelerate Renault Group's digital transformation by bringing together our expertise in the cloud, AI, and Android to provide for a secure, highly-personalized experience that meets customers' evolving expectations." 

Google shares that some features of the SDV will include predictive maintenance, accurate real-time detection of vehicle failures, a better driving experience, and insurance models reflective of driving behaviors. 

"Equipped with a shared IT platform, continuous over-the-air updates, and streamlined access to car data, the SDV approach developed in partnership with Google will transform our vehicles to help serve future customers' needs," said Luca de Meo, Renault Group CEO. 

Renault Group designates Google as its preferred cloud partner and the goal for this partnership is to eventually move the operation model entirely to the cloud.

Tesla has been a leader in the SDV space, with over-air software updates being a standard for the company.  

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