The Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance started off well and quickly went into a joint-venture together called “Alliance Ventures”, a $1 billion funding campaign for investing in and supporting open innovation, start-ups, and entrepreneurs in technology developing autonomous systems, electric vehicles (EVs), connectivity, and artificial intelligence. With many investments made so far, there are plenty of contracts floating around between the Alliance and other companies abroad and in the U.S. Although 2020 is a little shaky, the Alliance announced that it would reveal and discuss mid-term plans this May. Earlier, we reviewed all the advancements that Mitsubishi Motors has made that could keep the Alliance moving forward, but there is more to the Alliance than autonomous technology and mobility services.
Made Up of Four Pillars
When the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance first started up, the group set out four areas of focus to work on: autonomous drive, electrification, connected vehicles, and mobility services. For the upcoming discussion about mid-term plans, the Alliance noted that each automaker would have major control over two areas, essentially creating a triangle formation, with Mitsubishi working plug-in-hybrid-electric vehicle technology due to their constant development of PHEV concepts. The most recent from Mitsubishi Motors would have to be the Mi-TECH Electric Buggy concept that was revealed at the 2019 Tokyo Motor Show.
At the 2020 Consumer Electronics Show, Mitsubishi Motors showed off their new contract with MaaS Global Oy and shared their vision of a mobile ecosystem where everyone has access to some form of transportation. MaaS Global Oy, founder and owner of the Whim smartphone app, currently offers citizens of Finland access to personal and public transportation whenever they wish, as long as subscribed to a plan through the app. This is where the Alliance may be lacking, with only Nissan having entered a partnership with Japanese internet company DeNA to field test Easy Ride, their robo-vehicle ride hailing service.
When it comes to connectivity, the Renault-Nissan-Alliance is working on Alliance Connected Vehicles (ACV) with a cloud-based platform, but it seems that many automakers are starting to learn towards cloud-based platforms to stay in touch with consumers. So far, the platform got some support from Microsoft, but with competition like the Uconnect Market Platform, the Alliance will need to get some major development going. Mitsubishi Connect is another possible platform that could make headway in connecting vehicles, if not to each other, then the automaker to the consumer.
That leaves autonomous driving and electric vehicles, and Renault and Nissan definitely do their part. Even with the growing success of the xAUTO by Mitsubishi Electric demonstrated at the 2019 Tokyo Motor Show, and the latest improvement by the same company on LiDAR self-driving systems, there is some success to be shared. Groupe Renault has already deployed several vehicles with Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) with the goal of becoming the first manufacturers to offer “Mind-off” technology on vehicles. In 2018, Nissan announced plans to deploy the company’s ProPILOT technology in 20 models in 20 markets by 2022.
As we said earlier, Mitsubishi will be focused on PHEVs, and that leaves Renault and Nissan to pull the weight of electric vehicles (EVs). Luckily, Groupe Renault currently has a selection of EVs it has been selling worldwide since 2011, but the real breadwinner is the Nissan LEAF, the world’s best-selling EV since December 2010. Nissan is also set to develop a new shared EV platform that each automaker in the Alliance will be able to utilize in future models.
With all of this going on, we sure are curious to learn more about those mid-term plans. Follow us on Miami Lakes Mitsubishi social media to stay up to date on all Mitsubishi Motors and related news.