Renault switches gears to ‘hyperconnected’

Renault switches gears to ‘hyperconnected’

Technology News |
By eeNews Europe

Renault has introduced a vehicle prototype that combines more or less all technologies associated with individual mobility of the future: Being connected all the time (of course the expression ‘hyperconnected’ is owed to marketing expectations), driving autonomously and, of course, avoiding local CO2 emission by driving electrically.

The Next Two is based on Renault’s current electric model Zoe – which means that it will be affordable. Plus, it is equipped with a host of sensors that enable it to drive autonomously under certain circumstances. And, as mentioned, it provides all types of connectivity to its users. Towards this end, it has an open source connectivity system on board where users can plug in or tether with their smartphones, tablets or laptop computers.

Sensors all around plus advanced connectivity: The Renault Next Two. For full resolution click here.

With regard to automated driving, Renault uses the term ‘delegated driving’, which to some extend describes the possible scenarios under which the vehicle can drive autonomously. Currently the company sketches two such scenarios: Valet parking with no driver on board and automated driving in certain zones at speeds up to 30 kph, for instance in congested traffic. The valet parking function permits the vehicle to park itself autonomously in car parks equipped accordingly. This includes both finding a parking place and the necessary manoeuvring. And it includes the way back: By means of a smartphone app, the user can call its vehicle to return from the car park to, for instance, the entrance of the user’s home and pick him (or her) up. For this use case, the vehicle’s sensors are capable of recognizing the authorized person and unlock the doors only for him. Additional smartphone apps will support multimodal personal transport, which means that the travel route from A to B suggested by the navigation system can potentially include the usage of other means of transport such as metro, train etc.

Renault characterises the vehicle as a "realistic prototype". "It incorporates technologies sufficiently well developed to be built into production models in the near-term future", says Frédéric Mathis who oversees the Next Two project. In particular, the delegation of driving functions relies on driver assistance systems scheduled to appear on the market as early as 2014. Nevertheless, series cars offering all the functionality combines in the Next Two will only reach the marketplace around 2020, added Renault CEO Carlos Ghosn.

Related Articles:

Continental supplies powertrain for Renault’s e-car Zoe

Expert group connects electromobility to automated driving

Renault plugs into Qualcomm for wireless charging

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