Renault-Nissan to adopt Google Android operating system

Renault-Nissan logo

The Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi automaking alliance stated on Tuesday it will embrace Alphabet’s Google Android operating system, passing a victory to the U.S. tech giant as it pushes for a larger share of the infotainment market.

Renault, Nissan and Mitsubishi, with combined sales of 10.6 million vehicles in 2017, stated future models are going to “integrate Google applications and services” consisting of Maps and the voice-commanded Google Assistant.

The move was first reported by the Wall Street Journal. It leans much more on Big Tech than large or luxury competing automakers have hitherto been willing to do. Many fear losing grip of customer relationships, data and potentially enough future revenue from associated services.

Some smaller manufacturers including Volvo Cars have decided to embed Android Auto in their automobiles. However the amount of the shift by Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi may cause a broader rethink of expensive standalone tech strategies.

“Major automakers previously were reluctant to do business with Google, but this has now changed,” stated Jauke de Jong, a research expert at AFS Group in Amsterdam. “More automakers could follow suit and partner with Google.”

Until now, automakers have largely selected Linux, Microsoft or QNX software to power infotainment. That yields clunkier platforms they can control, but which provide little scope to include new apps or functionality.

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