Renault-Nissan alliance to start autonomous EV testing
28 Février 2017 - Autoblog
The Renault-Nissan alliance is joining the self-driving electric-vehicle party.
The French-Japanese automaking collaboration, which has been selling electric vehicles to the masses since introducing the Nissan Leaf in 2010, said Monday that it will work with transportation-technology consultant Transdev on developing a fleet of self-driving EVs for testing purposes. The model of choice, though, won't be the Leaf, but instead will be the Renault Zoe.
Details aren't abundant, but the group does say it will perform the field testing in the Paris area. Transdev's pedigree includes operating what it says is the world's first commercial driverless service at France's EDF campus. The company, which is majority-owned by Caisse des Dépôts, is no small potatoes, generating about $7 billion in revenue in 2015. Take a look at the alliance's statement here.
The alliance has already been working with Microsoft on driving-technology advancements and has teamed up with Japan-based DeNA to hatch a driverless-vehicle initiative for commercial services. And in January, Nissan said its ProPilot features, which include increased self-driving capabilities, would be added to its Leaf EV "in the near future."
Of course, other automakers have already jumped into the self-driving EV game. California-based EV maker Tesla has long been pushing its vehicle technology toward autonomy, and General Motors said in December that it would start field testing driverless Chevrolet Bolt EVs sometime this year.
In the meantime, the Alliance is gearing up a changeover in leadership, as Carlos Ghosn said last week that he was stepping down as Nissan's CEO on April 1. Ghosn, long a champion of electric-vehicle technology, will be succeeded by Nissan co-CEO Hiroto Saikawa.