Renault-led concept car offers cyberattack protection

By BLOOMBERG | 14 June 2023

PARIS: Renault SA and a range of technology partners are unveiling a futuristic concept car to showcase advances in biometry, energy efficiency and cybersecurity features.

The H1st Vision, based on the Renault Scenic and shown here at the VivaTech conference, contains 20 innovations following a collaboration of the French carmaker with five French tech groups: chipmaker STMicroelectronics NV, software maker Dassault Systemes SE, telecom carrier Orange SA, defence company Thales SA and IT provider Atos SE.

Among innovations are vehicle-to-grid bidirectional technology that connects the electricity grid to the car, and the car to the home during peak consumption periods to save on electricity bills.

The system is built around Renault’s Mobilize car charger, with Orange’s 4G network, STMicro’s controllers, and Thales’ cybersecurity solutions. The system will be available with the future Renault 5, the Software République consortium said, which is expected to go on sale next year.

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Other features include:

> A “detect and response” cybersecurity system connected to a response centre
> A biometric detection of the driver’s silhouette and face when he approaches the car
> A targeted sound system that can alert the driver only in a “sound bubble”
> A mood and health analysis of the driver through sensors embedded in the steering wheel
> A parking system allowing to drop the car next to free floating bikes

Carmakers are stepping up investments in digital and autonomous driving features to tap new revenue, with some such as Volkswagen AG struggling to incorporate complex software.

“This is a horizontal mode of cooperation, as opposed to the traditional vertical mode of cooperation in the automotive industry,” said Eric Feunteun, Software République’s chief operating officer on behalf of Renault.

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“Mobility is so intertwined with different ecosystems — city, energy, telecoms — that it can’t be managed in the vertical silo alone.”

Software République was launched in 2021, and has released five cross-company projects with so far modest revenues of €30 million (RM151mil). Twenty other projects are expected to come through in future.

The concept car shown at VivaTech was put together in six month by some 100 engineers, after Renault chief executive officer Luca de Meo held talks with his counterpart Patrice Caine at Thales while visiting one of the defence company’s innovations labs, Feunteun said.