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Renault-Nissan Alliance Enhances R&D in Silicon Valley

The Renault-Nissan Alliance has expanded its presence in Silicon Valley with the opening of a new advanced research center initially specializing in autonomous driving and connected cars.

It marks the official opening of the Nissan Research Center Silicon Valley (NRC-SV), which is aimed to enhance Nissan’s global research capability through collaborative partnerships with companies and research institutions in this global technology hub.

Meanwhile, auto market analysts inform that auto-piloted, self-driving, crash-proof cars could be on our roads by 2020.

Such cars will feature City Safety, a system that uses a sensor to warn the driver of an impending frontal collision before eventually performing an emergency stop on the driver’s behalf.

[ Also Read: How to Drive Digital and Social Cars ]

Moreover, collision avoidance technology is already being tested by carmaker Volvo. The company hopes to start rolling out this technology in the next few years. (Read: Can We Hope to See Crash-Proof Cars by 2020?)

And AOL Autos, one of the Internet’s leading automotive research and news sites, selected Chrysler Group’s Uconnect Access as the winner of its Technology of the Year Award at the 2013 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES). (Read: Chrysler Uconnect Wins Tech Award from AOL Autos)

Renault-Nissan Alliance

The opening of NRC-SV is part of Nissan’s global strategy to expand and localize its R&D function in strategic markets. The new Silicon Valley research center will take responsibility for selected roles in collaboration with Nissan Research Center in Japan.

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The initial projects that Nissan researchers will pursue include:

  • Research of autonomous vehicles to realize a future with safe, stress-free mobility;
  • Research of connected vehicles that can tap into infrastructure and the Internet to maximize energy and time efficiency; and
  • Research in the area of Human Machine Interface to enhance the experience of autonomous and connected vehicles.

In addition, planning and advanced development of connected vehicle services and the design of user interface systems will also be studied as a complementary field to the above disciplines.

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Nissan executive VP supervising Research and Development Mitsuhiko Yamashita said Monday during a visit to the new R&D center, “As we continue to expand our R&D capabilities throughout the world, we aggressively pursue our activities to create new values of mobility, by harnessing the latest information and communication technologies here in our new research center in Silicon Valley.”

In 2011, engineers from Nissan and its corporate strategic partner Renault opened an office in Mountain View. The teams will now continue their work in the larger Sunnyvale lab. Renault’s primary focus in Silicon Valley is advance research on vehicle connectivity and related areas.

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