A new research office has been put up at Silicon Valley in California by Nissan Motor Co. and Renault, its European alliance partner. It has a staff of 10 members who will be tasked to help the carmakers keep updated on the latest trends in software and Internet communications. The center is located in Mountain View, Calif., just across the street from Google Inc.’s office campus.
The center will be focused on new Internet-based technologies as well as vehicle information technology and advanced engineering.
The Renault-Nissan Alliance released a statement, saying that the focus of this office is on “specific projects and business developments.” It aims to make use of Silicon Valley engineering talent so that it won’t be left behind in the trends that are “reshaping the way people interact with their cars."
Last month, Trisha Jung was named by Nissan North America Inc. to lead a new U.S. group named Vehicle Connected Services at its headquarters in Franklin, Tenn.
She will head a group of engineers at its headquarters and at the Silicon Valley research office to develop features that allow drivers use the Internet. The fastest evolving segments in auto engineering include advanced communication tools like smart phones and iPads.
Drivers have been able to access information like driving conditions, e-mail, text and Facebook, independently of their hardware. But notably, mobile computing devices and cell phones benefit from quick product development cycles while the auto industry has relatively slow-moving cycles.