17:13 Monday 23 December 2013

Industry giants venture forth to a digital future

Written byGARETH BUTTERFIELD

A PARTNERSHIP between one of the biggest names in mobile phone communication and one of the biggest names in the world of motoring could make for big changes in the way we connect with our vehicles, bosses say.

Renault and Orange have begun working together on a ‘real-life testing framework’ for exploring new connectivity applications on vehicles using high-speed technologies such as 4G.

The firms say tomorrow’s vehicles will be hyper-connected and motorists will be able to access their professional and personal digital worlds from their vehicles in complete safety.

The partnership has come about as part of a research project on testing the automotive uses of very-high-speed, 4G connectivity in cars.

Under the partnership, Orange has rolled out 4G in advance at Renault’s research and testing facilities.

The aim is to enable both partners’ teams to test in real-life situations the uses enabled by very-high-speed mobile technology, ranging from virtual office and cloud gaming to video conferencing.

An initial test is underway on the Next Two prototype based on Renault ZOE

Rémi Bastien, head of engineering innovation at Renault, said: “This partnership is an example of an effective working relationship between two very different worlds.

“We were able to benefit ahead of time from a high-speed LTE network and from Orange’s expertise, with an opportunity to take advantage of the network for our prototype of the connected vehicle of the future.”

Nathalie Leboucher, head of the Smart Cities Program at Orange, said: “We are delighted to provide Renault with the unrivalled performance of our 4G network and thereby contribute to the development of new web-mobility uses and services for the vehicles of the future.

“Connected cars make travelling more efficient through communicating services and stand as a major development priority in Orange’s strategy”.

Renault already uses an ‘R-Link’ system, available on most of its models, using a tablet-style interface which has been touted as Europe’s user-friendliest infotaiment system.

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