Renault wants to reinvent life on board

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This is a small event that has gone unnoticed. At VivaTech last June in Paris, Renault announced a three-year partnership with Jean-Michel Jarre.

This is not the first time that the manufacturer has collaborated with the composer, as BMW has used the services of Hans Zimmer to voice their electrified models. The electronic music specialist behind Oxygène and Equinoxe has to keep an eye on the sonic signature of the brand’s future electric models. That is: the welcome sequence when entering the car, the audio system in general, and the external sound emitted by the electric vehicle below 30 km/h to warn pedestrians. Jarre, who has already worked on the acoustic design of the Harman Kardon audio system at Mégane E-tech, will be assisting Renault in the development of the Sonic Roads software.

The promise is to provide the perfect soundtrack on the road, based on the driver’s musical tastes, but also inspired by contextual parameters of the road such as places, landscapes, weather and time of day. The goal is to establish a connection between the data collected by the sensors and the audio content (music, podcasts, information, etc.).

The French manufacturer is also looking to reinvent sound by reducing the number of speakers and offering a more localized sound. The concept was presented aboard the Scenic Vision concept (also exhibited at VivaTech), with a mid-bass speaker implanted in each door and complemented by a system of sound bubbles installed in each headrest. In this way, passengers will be able to enjoy better acoustics, personalized and offering an immersive experience in combination with the environment.

Music and Audio Content Efforts

Illustrative photoCredit photo – Reno

In addition to the new big promise, Renault also wants to offer new services. And all this is revealed on board the Mégane E-tech, as well as on board the Austral.

It is a priori the first manufacturer to integrate Amazon Music* (from the MyRenault app or in a car with an OpenR Link multimedia system), knowing that this streaming service has also been chosen by TomTom (on its Indigo platform, which is an alternative to Android Automotive) and Faurecia (for the Aptoide app store chosen by BMW and Mercedes). Note that Automotive Mode is also available from an Android smartphone or iPhone.

In the Prime version, Amazon Music allows you to listen to 2 million songs without ads. You can also choose the Premium version, which offers up to 90 million songs, some of them in HD and even with surround sound. When it comes to music, the free Radioplayer for Renault app gives you access to thousands of radio stations, web radio stations and podcasts in Europe. The brand also offers the Sybel app, which offers thousands of hours of unreleased podcasts, feature films and documentaries, including audio books and children’s stories. Enough to keep passengers busy on long journeys.

In addition, the service provided themed playlists with three hours of preloaded content. The running program can then resume if it was stopped on another device. There’s even an intelligent voice assistant, personalized recommendations, and a favorites list.

*Stellantis, which has partnered with Amazon to build a multimedia platform, is likely to integrate the service from 2024 as well.

First try in the days of Carlos Ghosn

Who remembers that in December 2017, Renault invested five million euros to acquire a 40% stake in the Challenges press group?

The goal was to work together to integrate content created by a publisher (Challenges, Sciences & Avenir, L’histoire, Historia, La Recherche). The project was to be designed for several years with a budget of several million euros. Renault’s goal was to anticipate the use of the future autonomous car by offering new content in its vehicles. The brand also lifted the curtain on its strategy during the 2018 Paris Motor Show.

Called “AEX” (for “Enhanced Editorial Experience”), the concept included podcasts about culture (with Nobel laureate Jean Tirol or mathematician Cédric Villany) or in leisure mode to enjoy a family outing through the castles of the Loire. But the legal troubles of Carlos Ghosn, who is still in exile in Lebanon, seem to have put the project to rest.

Browser to pass the time in stationary mode

Illustrative photo

Illustrative photoCredit photo – Reno

Whatever. In terms of content, Mégane E-tech also offers a new browser. His name is Vivaldi.

It is of Norwegian origin and designed by the former CEO of Opera. It’s fast, secure, and blocks ads and trackers. It exists in an automotive version that is available on Android Automotive and is also applicable to Polestar (Volvo’s electrified sports car brand). This navigator is available in the parking lot while the car is charging the battery.

With this app, users can make video calls, set up access to their most used web apps, easily access streaming services, or sync browsing data securely.

Privacy is at the heart of Vivaldi’s concerns. Thus, data passing through the OpenR Link system is not stored in the vehicle or even transmitted to Renault.

OpenR Link Ecosystem

Illustrative photo

Illustrative photoCredit photo – Reno

In terms of entertainment, the diamond brand relies on the Google environment.

The OpenR Link multimedia system is indeed based on the Android Automotive system we’ve already had the opportunity to introduce. Constantly updated, it provides maps from Google Maps (with charging points for electrified vehicles, as well as a history of favorite addresses), the Internet giant’s voice assistant, as well as all applications from Google Play.

While sports fans will be happy to find L’Equipe content for Renault, the EasyPark* service will be very convenient for parking. This helps drivers manage and pay for parking without having to pull out a card or even a smartphone. The app also offers coupons and exclusive offers for users of the service.

*A Swedish company has acquired PARK NOW (formerly owned by BMW and Mercedes) and covers more European countries than any other European parking app, including over 2,200 cities.

generalize

By emphasizing connected services and acoustic comfort, the diamond brand aims to stand out. What if the best was inside?

Laurent Mayo

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