The expansion of automotive electronics seems unending. The latest example comes from Renault-Nissan, which will open a research office later this month in the heart of Silicon Valley, directly across from Google.
Small teams will initially work on electronic development, advanced engineering research and technology recruitment. Nissan will use the Silicon Valley office to focus on vehicle IT research, including graphic user-interface displays, in-car Internet connectivity and smart-grid research.
“Having a greater footprint in one of the world’s headquarters for clean tech research will extend our lead further,” said Carlos Ghosn, CEO and Chairman of the Renault-Nissan Alliance, who is giving a talk at the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research (SIEPR) today.
Ghosn’s “Clean Cars” presentation at Stanford will focus on how and why zero-emission technologies are leading to opportunities in the auto industry and economy.
Nissan’s “Carwings” telematics system, a standard in every Nissan Leaf electric vehicle, includes a seven-inch touch screen with maps of recharging stations and real-time reports on energy consumption. Nissan has delivered more than 7,500 Leafs worldwide to date.
The Nissan Leaf is the first product from the Alliance’s $5.4 billion investment in what it calls zero-emission cars. Upcoming debuts include an Infiniti premium electric sedan, the Renault Twizy urban commuter car for Europe, and utility vans for commercial fleets.
Created in 1999, the Renault-Nissan Alliance together employ more than 350,000 workers, sand old 7.2 million cars in 2010 – about one in 10 cars worldwide. Paris-based Renault and Yokohama-based Nissan collaborate through joint purchasing, platform sharing and cross-shareholding.