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Renault steps up SDV development and launches Reno app for assistants

Renault has revealed that it is pushing ahead with software-defined vehicle (SDV) development, in line with Germany 3 and Stellantis, with a roll-out available from Renault-branded vehicles in April 2023, starting in 2026. Renault has also appointed Luc Julia, former co-creator of Siri at Apple, as Chief Scientific Officer of Renault, who is leading the development of Reno, the digital assistant (which Renault calls its official avatar). A Reno smartphone app was launched this spring.

In the US, GM has invited Mike Abbott, previously Apple’s VP of engineering for cloud services, to head GM’s software division; to promote SDV, he will oversee GM’s three software divisions directly under CEO Barra. One step further, in 2021, Ford pulled top talent from Apple, just as it pulled Doug Field from Apple and appointed him as head of the Model e division, which oversees software and EV operations.

Apple’s talent seems to be popular, but it seems that the top managers need people from the IT industry to build the architecture of SDVs and create the required user experience.

It is said that software will determine the future of the car, and the importance of building SDV architecture within the automotive industry is widely recognised, but it is also noted that it is not an easy task: key next-generation technologies such as ADAS/AD systems, charging services and their software OTA, being developed while learning from smartphones. Soon the era of change will be in full swing. Traditional extension thinking will not win in the new competitive era, where software will be crucial. The seriousness of the car manufacturers and their strategies will be tested.

In addition to trends related to electric vehicles, which can be described as a next-generation industry, this report analyses the automobile and parts industries, mainly in Europe and the US, and the business trends/strategies of manufacturers, ranging from internal combustion engine vehicles, which form the core of the conventional automobile industry.