Renault-Nissan brought Mitsubishi Motors into the fold back in 2016 to create the new Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance. Over a year, Mitsubishi Motors finished producing its last in-house vehicle, the 2018 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross, and started to use Nissan’s resources to get a running start as part of the alliance. In January 2018, the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance began a new funding campaign called “Alliance Ventures” to invest $1 billion in order to support open innovation, start-ups, and entrepreneurs in technology with a focus on autonomous systems, electric vehicles (EVs), connectivity, and artificial intelligence. The fund will last five years, and to start things off, $200 million was allocated for the first year’s budget – $50 million of that budget has already been spent in the last five months. Here’s a list of all five investments.
Being that all three automakers are from the other side of the hemisphere, with Mitsubishi Motors and Nissan settled in Japan, and Renault in France, the investments started overseas. The first was with the DiDi Auto Alliance. Founded by DiDi, an artificial intelligence and autonomous technology conglomerate in China, the DiDi Auto Alliance is an intelligent ride-sharing alliance working on providing new smart mobility solutions in China. The main goal of the DiDi Auto Alliance aims to unite all its members to transform the business model of the automotive industry and become the largest full-capacity vehicle operator platform in the world by providing services like auto leasing and sales, auto finance, auto service, fleet operation, and car-sharing solutions. The Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance struck a deal to help fund the DiDi Auto Alliance in exchange for their automotive services.
A France-based company, Kalray, has also received funding from Alliance Ventures, being that their current goals are very similar to those of the alliance. In addition to their plug-in electric hybrid vehicles, the alliance plans to develop fifteen models with autonomous features by 2022; Kalray is working on developing a microprocessor that can be used in autonomous driving. Sounds like the perfect match and a smart investment.