Tag Archives: whim

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Mitsubishi Motors’ Contributions to the Renault-Nissan Alliance

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When Mitsubishi Motors first joined the Renault-Nissan Alliance, it was quickly becoming a great move for the automaker. Soon after, there was talk about a cross-brand EV platform from Nissan, and re-badged Renault vehicles, and Mitsubishi Motors was quick to make use of Alliance resources to expand. However, Mitsubishi Motors seems to be the only Alliance partner moving the needle with concepts like the Mitsubishi Engelberg Tourer at the 2019 Geneva International Motor Show, or the Mitsubishi Mi-TECH system. According to Alliance Plans, Mitsubishi Motors is only supposed to be in charge of plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) development, but Mitsubishi Electric is having a lot of success with the xAUTO, and when it comes to mobile solutions, Mitsubishi Motors Corp. is the one getting the contract. Are Renault or Nissan even doing anything at this point?

Mitsubishi Motors > Renault-Nissan?

Most recently, we finally got some news about what Renault and Nissan are bringing to the Alliance. During the mid-term business plan announcement, the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance discussed a triangle concept where each automaker would be in charge of two goals out of plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) technology, electric vehicle (EV) technology, and autonomous cars. It’s been three years and so far all that seems to be coming out of Renault is a Mitsubishi-branded version of the Renault Trafic van at its factory in Sandouville, France. So, in other words, a rebadged van…like Mitsubishi Motors needs more of that.

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The Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance is Developing an Intelligent Cloud

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Connecting our vehicles to our homes is the next step for many automakers, and it’s a trend that is slowly popping up. Virtual Assistants, also known as smart devices, have been commonplace since Siri on the Apple iPhone. Then came Corana on Microsoft platforms, Amazon Alexa, Google Home, and the list continues to grow. It isn’t just the tech giants getting in on this either – automobile groups have already eyed this as the next niche to break into and dominate. Several automotive brands already have an Amazon Alexa-connected device in their vehicle, a contract with Amazon, or an Alexa skill that can connect consumers to their vehicles from the comfort of their living room. What’s next? Connecting vehicles together with clouds.

Not puffy fluffy clouds made of rain, but the cloud. When people talk about the cloud in terms of computer-speaker, they’re talking about a large server that is used to store information elsewhere, usually in a large data center located somewhere nearby. Clouds are useful for storing data as well as sharing it. Google Drive was possibly one of the first major uses of Cloud computing, allowing businesses to share files and collaborate over long distances. Now, all kinds of companies are making use of clouds, and the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance is one of those automobile groups that are making use cloud computing technology in automobiles.

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Mitsubishi Electric at the 2020 Consumer Electronics Show

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The 2020 Consumer Electronics Show is one of the most sought after exhibits every year, and because it takes place so early in the year (January 7-10, 2020), consumers are able to get a good look at appliances, electronics, products, and technologies soon coming to the market. Simultaneously, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) also attracts many automakers looking to show off their new tech and features coming soon to new models. One automotive corporation, in particular, Mitsubishi Motors Corp, tends to show up to CES 2020 with their sister company Mitsubishi Electric. After the recent partnership between Mitsubishi Motors Corp and MaaS Global Oy, we’re seeing a lot of interesting concepts from Mitsubishi Electric at CES 2020.

Mobility for Everyone

The core of the partnership between MMC and MaaS Global Oy is to create an ecosystem of mobility where every consumer has access to some form of private or public transportation. MaaS Global already has a handle on that with its Whim app in Finland – consumers can sign up for various plans that will give them access to buses, trams, taxis, cars, bicycles, and more transportation services. Working on self-driving and autonomous technology, one interesting concept from MMC and MaaS Global is personal mobile living spaces. On the outside, they look like windowless vans, but on the inside, it can be a miniature office or living room. The vehicle drives itself with the use of a radar and camera fusion piloting system that helps it recognize other cars, pedestrians, and bicyclists, and puts together the best routes to avoid obstacles in real-time.

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Mitsubishi Electric Bringing New Tech to 2019 Tokyo Motor Show

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Back in 2017, Mitsubishi Motors and Mitsubishi Electric came to the Tokyo Motor Show and had two brand new concepts to show off. These were the Mitsubishi e-Evolution concept, destined to bring back the “EVO” nameplate previously thought to be discontinued, but new plans for a Lancer Crossover by Mitsubishi may have taken over – actually, it may be the same concept based on the digital renders. The second concept was Emirai4, a self-driving vehicle currently in the testing phase. Two years later, and Mitsubishi Motors Corp (MMC) is packing heat. Their hand in the Renault-Nissan Alliance and Alliance Ventures has paid off. With their recent partnership with MaaS Global Oy, a whole new vision is about to take off.

Mitsubishi Motors Corp and MaaS Global Oy

MaaS Global Oy is the company behind an overseas mobile app called Whim. It’s basically a ride-hailing app that rolls all the various apps, cards, and payment methods for buses, trams, taxis, cars, bicycles, and more into just one app. It basically offers everyone (in Helsingin seudun liikenne, Finland) the ability to subscribe to a plan that gives them access to all of these transportation services – public, personal, and even rentals. Since it launched in 2017, the service has expanded to Birmingham, U.K. and Antwerp, Belgium, and with a recent investment by Mitsubishi Motors Corp and Toyotsa Financing Solutions, MaaS Global plans to expand to Vienna, Singapore; several cities in Japan; and eventually over to the states in Miami and Chicago, and again in North America in Vancouver, B.C. Canada.

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Mitsubishi Motors Corp Helps Expand Whim Mobile App

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Imagine walking out the door every day to go to work, meet with friends, or join a party all the way downtown with multiple stops and methods of transportation. On average, many consumers do that on the daily, and they have multiple apps, cards, and payment methods to keep track of just to make it to their destination. Now imagine doing all that with one app and having access to bus, tram, taxi, car, bicycles, and more transportation services when you want it. That’s the Whim app, a smartphone application by a Finnish company in Helsinki, and Mitsubishi Motors Corp just bought shares in MaaS Global Oy, the parent company behind Whim.

“This is what a car tends to represent to people, it’s this promise of freedom to go anytime, anywhere on a whim…We really need to concentrate on delivering that.” – Chief Executive Officer Sampo Hietanen

No longer would people have to switch between ride-sharing apps like Uber or Lyft and manage multiple bus cards. Like Lulu from The Fifth Element, we have a Multi-Pass, except it unlocks a variety of modes of transportation versus rolling an ID and credit card into one – the future, everybody! There’s just one problem.

Currently, Whim mainly operates in its homeland of Finland, mostly in Helsingin seudun liikenne or HSL. Since its launch in 2017, MaaS Global has been able to expand the Whim service to Birmingham, U.K. and Antwerp, Belgium, but so far that’s it. That’s where Mitsubishi Motors Corp (MMC) comes in.

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