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Perfect Entertainment on the Road to Mobility as a Service

By Abraham Joseph -

At the ConnecteDriver and Vehicle show in Brussels a couple of weeks ago, I took a break a break from the excitement over mobility as a service to pick the brains of Benoit Joly Chief Sales & Marketing Officer, Connected Mobility & Autonomous Services at Group Renault (right).

In September last year, the Alliance Group (Renault, Nissan and Mitsubishi) agreed to partner with Google to use the latter’s Android platform as the foundation of their next generation entertainment systems.

“We are focusing on returning the joy of car ownership and use to the driver,” he says, going on to explain that Renault's new entertainment platform is focused on experience and services and that the company’s strategy is to focus on creating value for customers based on the various services derived from connected vehicles.

He says that the decision to use Android was driven by the need to ensure that the Alliance companies could build their next generation entertainment systems on a standard lifestyle platform. They saw customers’ digital lives and connected cars merging, and in order to facilitate easier interconnection, it would be useful if the technologies were similar.

Now, using Android enables them to connect various solutions together in a much smoother way.

He anticipates a relatively seamless integration with customers’ existing lifestyle technologies such as assistants from Google, Amazon and Microsoft.

First, customers want to get the car connected with their assistants so that when they are at home, they can request the location of the car, or issue instructions to the car, e.g. to turn on the heating before a journey. Similarly, when they’re in the car, they want to access their home assistants to get relevant information or issue commands to their home automation systems.

And what about security? This is a very important topic that they tackle at the Alliance level, he says. “We have a 360° strategy for security. It tackles security in the cloud, in the car down to the lowest level, in the entertainment system and in the communications system.”

He adds, "Over the last couple of years, we have been building a very strong cybersecurity capability and now we have an army of experts that take care of security. Also, we are working with leading players in cybersecurity."

What does he think about the conference’s hot topic – mobility as a service – and what will happen to the vehicle manufacturing industry when MaaS takes off?  “It will be an ecosystem play,” he says, regarding the former. “No one has or will have all the pieces.” Regarding the latter, he points out that whatever happens, for the foreseeable future lots of cars will be made.

IoT Insights will publish a full interview with Benoit next month.