At the Paris Motor Show earlier this month, Renault-Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn seemed to suggest his company would do more assembling of third-party technologies than creation of their own, but a new internal startup initiative announced by the combined automaker aims to make it directly responsible for some of its most basic technologies related to connected cars and the future of mobility.
The new group will be led by Renault-Nissan SVP Ogi Redzic, a HERE veteran, and will include 300 team members to start, featuring personnel with backgrounds in software, cloud tech, data analytics, machine learning and more.
Nissan recently made an acquisition which brings a bunch of talent in those areas on board, picking up cloud software integration expert and developer Sylpheo. A dedicated in-house team assigned to furthering Nissan-Renault’s progress in this growing area of interest for automakers should help the combined company keep up with rivals who are focusing a lot of time, money and product development into mobility services, which include things like autonomous fleets, car sharing services and other vehicle ownership alternatives.
Aside from developing core technologies to help propel Renault-Nissan into the next era of transportation, the new division is also responsible for helping the giant carmaker thing more like a startup. That’s a difficult task even at large tech companies where that’s always been a virtue, but it’s clearly a trend in the industry to try to inject some entrepreneurial spirit in legacy firms chasing tech advances.