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The Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance announced plans for the group in late May 2020 during a digital conference. During this time, we covered some of the upcoming technologies each automaker is working on. A lot of cool stuff is being worked on by each automaker, and up until now, it sounded like Mitsubishi Motors was the only automaker actually doing anything, releasing concept after concept, and picked as the first automaker to release a new vehicle that will most likely be rebadged by the others. However, Renault and Nissan have been doing a lot more than we originally thought if you take a look at the Alliance 2022 website, especially Nissan.
Every automaker is looking into autonomous vehicles, or vehicles that drive themselves. Who will have the first real Smart Car, no one knows, but Renault has been working on autonomous capabilities in all its passenger and LCV cars, aimed at becoming the first auto manufacturer to successfully put a self-driving car for retail on the market. Even still, although currently unnamed, Nissan is taking the lead on this one, aimed at releasing their first self-driving vehicle in the coming years. Part of the Alliance, it may make use of Groupe Renault’s "Mind-off" technology.
Both Renault and Nissan have been working on a number of e-PowerTrains (ePT), and Nissan is at the helm with the first mainstream, mass-marketed electric vehicle that currently remains the world’s best-selling EV since its launch in December 2010. It’s the Nissan LEAF, an EV, and another vehicle sold overseas, the e-NV200. In the spirit of rebadging vehicles, the Alliance is supposed to share technologies and platforms across the three brands, and Nissan announced a W.I.P. cross-brand electric vehicle platform. Able to change based on the size, style, and if it will be matched with a gasoline powertrain like plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs), the platform could be used by either automaker. The first vehicle to make use of the platform may be the Nissan Ariya, currently in prototype-mode, and soon after, the luxury vehicle division of Nissan, i.e. Infiniti.
Connected vehicles are the wave of the future, with consumers able to connect to their automobile from the confines of their home with smartphone apps and even Alexa skills. The Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance as a whole is working on this with the Alliance Connected Vehicles (ACV) team. Aiming to place connected technology in all vehicles, the ACV team is developing the Alliance Intelligent Cloud. Backwards compatible, current and past connected vehicles will be able to connect to the cloud platform, along with upcoming future vehicles, of course. There are already about 70 million or so vehicles already on the road from the Alliance, and this number will surely grow. While this is in development, Nissan plans to release car-connected technologies in China very soon.
Next to self-driving vehicles, every automaker seems to see the world as a mobile ecosystem where anyone anywhere can have access to personal or public transportation. Nissan has already got a foothold on this with their partnership with Japanese internet company DeNA. Having already begun field tests, the group created East Ride, a robo-vehicle ride hailing service, in Japan. Yes, that’s right – you can hail a ride in a self-driving vehicle in Japan. Soon, the two groups will release the program to the public and then expand in the early 2020’s.
Aw yeah, things are looking good for the Alliance with Nissan pulling its weight. Want to learn about more technology from Nissan and the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance? Follow us on NowCar social media.