Nissan, Mitsubishi, Renault Looking Into Deals for Robotaxis

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【Summary】The automotive alliance consisting of Renault, Nissan, and Mitsubishi has started to look into partnerships with other automakers and tech companies to get into the autonomous robotaxi scene.

Original Vineeth Joel Patel    Jan 11, 2018 8:30 AM PT
Nissan, Mitsubishi, Renault Looking Into Deals for Robotaxis

The alliance between Renault, Nissan, and Mitsubishi has created one formidable partnership of automotive brands that is proving to be a thorn in the side of the many of the largest players in the automotive industry when it comes to global sales. But the alliance also has large plans when it comes to autonomous vehicles. 

Combining Resources For One Attainable Goal

Last June, Renault and Nissan announced plans to launch multiple mobility-focused services, including autonomous ride-hailing and ride-sharing companies with an autonomous fleet of vehicles. The goal is an attainable one for the two, now three, automakers, as Nissan has been testing its driverless systems in Tokyo and London

While the three automakers have the resources, personnel, and funds to research and develop autonomous vehicles on their own, the alliance, according to a report by Automotive News claims that the three are looking into creating partnerships to develop shared autonomous robotaxis. 

According to Ogi Redzic, a senior vice president that oversees approximately 1,000 employees that are working on connectivity services for the automakers, the alliance will be unveiling names behind its partnerships in the near future. Redzic also told the outlet that Nissan, Renault, and Mitsubishi are looking to work alongside technology companies like Google and Uber that are already working on autonomous vehicles

"Tech companies aren't going to build and sell cars to our current customers," said Redzic, a former executive at Nokia. Redzic went on to say that driverless technology allows the alliance to enable and enhance their main businesses. "We envision that partnerships are possible." 

The Trio Sets Sights On Leaders

As Automotive News points out, Renault and Nissan, along with Mitsubishi have plans to put 12 EVs and 40 autonomous cars on the road by 2022. The outlet reports that the companies have spent approximately $8.3 billion on research and development in 2017, which puts them in the same league as General Motors. 

Unfortunately, as Auto News claims, the alliance may have spent the same amount of money as GM, but the American automaker is on track to put a driverless car on the road before the trio. Nissan, Renault, and Mitsubishi, though, do have agreements in place to spread the load of the high costs of R&D, reports the outlet. Renault entered into a partnership with Transdev, a French transportation service, to develop autonomous fleets. Nissan, on the other hand, is working with DeNA, a mobile-games editor, to begin testing autonomous vehicles in Yokohama in 2019. 

Automotive News also claims that the alliance has signed a deal with Microsoft to create back-end cloud technology for self-driving cars. While these are impressive partnerships, other automakers have made similar moves. 

Nissan, Renault, and Mitsubishi may be focusing on ways to join other companies that are making robotaxis for its mobility services, but the alliance still believes that selling individual cars with autonomous capabilities is an important aspect of the future. Redzic believes that consumers will pay more money for a vehicle that allows them to multitask. 

"Autonomous cars will bring more value to our existing customers," said Redzic. "The vehicle itself is valuable and also services will generate a lot of value. We want to take a fair share."

via: Automotive News

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