The new era of personal assistants, Renault’s way

Renault showed off at the Paris Motor Show with its new personal assistant, the Augmented Editorial Experience, or AEX, which was developed as an A.I. that would help the driver and the other occupants of the car enjoy each trip to the fullest.

The Full Story

When presenting the elaborate EZ-Ultimo concept. which completes the EZ trinity of concept cars, Renault Designer Laurens van den Acker said that "Renault is not a premium brand, evidently, but we are good at democratizing innovations."

The new AEX seems to be another Renault attempt to democratize an idea, although maybe not as novel as others before it since many manufacturers are working to include "mobile Alexas" into their cars.

We know that Renault is preparing to launch an all-electric compact SUV for the Chinese market, previewed by the K-ZE Concept, which was presented to journalists at the Paris Motor Show, which is part of their "Drive The Future" programme. This will also see the introduction of a Clio hybrid as well as plug-in hybrid versions of the Megane and the Captur.

But besides electrifying - or, for now, hybridizing - its range of cars, Renault also looks to bolster their offerings on the tech side. As such, the French manufacturer took the wraps off a new personal assistant for the driver that can make the time spent inside your future Renault more enjoyable by giving you a tailor-made multimedia experience. This goes hand-in-hand with new autonomous systems so that you won’t have to worry about driving as well as keeping up with what the AEX has in store for you.

“With the advent of connected, autonomous vehicles, customers will expect more of their traveling time. Experimenting with Groupe Challenges, we imagine what tomorrow’s connected, personalized mobility experience could be”, Carlos Ghosn said. “Access to premium content delivered through unique onboard experiences for drivers and passengers will become key differentiators”. The system could be experienced by show-goers thanks to a full-size capsule where there are multiple large-scale screens that present four scenarios in a 222-degree projection.

Renault Shows Off Futuristic AEX Infotainment in Paris
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The scenarios presented by Renault to show the abilities of its new system are: starting the day, traveling to a business meeting, heading home, and a trip with the whole family.

In each of these scenarios, the driver can talk to the AEX assistant to keep up with the news, the weather forecast or to check his e-mails. In turn, the assistant can change the lighting in the car or the music being played in the speakers to adjust to the mood inside the vehicle. Basically, Renault wants the AEX system to make all passengers inside the autonomous Renaults of the future feel welcomed and to keep them amused and informed all the way to their destination.

Fittingly, the EZ-Ultimo luxurious rent-a-limo concept is placed right next to the augmented experience booth on the Renault stand. What this means, though, is that this system won’t be ready in the near future as it’s something that will come by the time cars are able to drive themselves safely, otherwise, it would make little sense to have a virtual A.I. that could potentially distract you from driving.

Further Reading

The Renault EZ-Ultimo Takes Another Futuristic Approach to Driverless Mobility
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Read about the Renault EZ-Ultimo Concept.

The Future of Renault Lies in this KWID-Based Electric Crossover Concept from the Paris Motor Show
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Read about the Renault K-ZE Concept.

Renault Showcases the Future of Urban Travel with the EZ-GO Autonomous People Hauler Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2018 Renault EZ-GO.

Drive or be driven? The future will not only give us these options but also allow us to choose how we wish to spend our time on board. To address these trends, by partnering with French publishing company Challenges, Groupe Renault is revealing the Augmented Editorial Experience (AEX) concept at the Paris Motor Show. AEX embodies a vision of the future of mobile content paving the way for a new era of sophisticated on-board experiences to reinvent travel time.

Premium content and reinvented onboard experiences

As mobility continues to evolve and driving assistance increases with connected and autonomous cars, passengers will more and more seek enhanced on-board experience to make the most out of their travel time – both personally and professionally. To embrace this far-reaching change, Groupe Renault took an investment stake in Groupe Challenges, a French publishing company, to collaborate on new media experiences for mobility, and at the same time explore new businesses opportunities.

François Dossa, Alliance Global Vice President, Alliance Ventures & Open Innovation, said:

“Today the lines are blurring between content, services and mobility and we’re putting ourselves in the center of the next revolution in connected, personalized mobility experiences. We believe premium content and unique experiences for drivers and passengers will become key differentiators for vehicle manufacturers and mobility services providers. We invested last December in Groupe Challenges to co-develop new premium content that would reache customers in all-new ways and are excited about the possibilities as we share the next step in our concept.”

Frédéric Sitterlé, Head of development Groupe Challenges, added :

“Groupe Challenges and all its editors enthusiastically took up the challenge proposed by Renault: to design and produce innovative audio programmes adapted to new mobility. Through the AEX experience, Renault is taking us even further: offering our readers and listeners a mobile editorial experience that is ever richer and more personalized. The teams of Challenges, Sciences et Avenir, La Recherche, Historia and L’Histoire have created a grid of original and captivating programmes on economics, science and history that reflect the know-how and requirements of our editorial staff. We are continuing to develop and diversify our offers to continue to support our readers in all their new ways of consuming information”.

AEX: turning travel time into a learning experience

In autonomous driving scenarios, AEX would offer an easy, interactive, voice-commanded access to quality, reliable content. It would be a conversational experience including location-aware context, personalization and interaction. Trusted content and adapted voice delivery is the uniqueness of this concept.

Depending of the time of the day, of where the car is and whether the driver is alone or not, it would proactively suggest relevant content to listen to or to share on social media for each passenger, separately or jointly, as it would learn more about their habits to facilitate interaction with the world outside, while travelling.

Franck Louis-Victor, Alliance Global Director Connected Services, said:

“Connected to the cloud and using artificial intelligence, the vehicle will become an interactive, high tech personalized space. Tomorrow, through the AEX experience, with enhanced on-board experiences and new enriched and premium content that moves with you, the vehicle would become the ultimate device. A unique combination to turn travel time into a learning experience and a journey that would take passengers further than their destination.”

A milestone at the Paris Motor Show

This concept is brought to life at the Paris Motor Show by a realistic immersive content experience created with the support of Groupe Challenges which comprises five magazines - Challenges, Sciences & Avenir, La Recherche, L’Histoire and Historia - and Publicis Group on conceptualization and product development aspects.

Inside a life-sized capsule and through 4 life scenarios (“Daily commute to work”, “Family trip”, “Drive to a business meeting” and “Return home from work”), projected in 222 degrees, visitors will be immersed in an augmented editorial experience as if they were in a connected or an autonomous vehicle. In one of the scenarios developed, at the request of the passenger to know more about artificial intelligence (IA), AEX suggests a content crafted by Sciences & Avenir with a podcast from Cédric Villani, a French mathematician and politician, an expert on that topic. Another example takes place during a family trip, where passengers passing by the famous Sforza castle in Milan, are offered exclusive content drawn-up by Historia’s editorial teams about this castle frequented by many 15th century artists.

At the Paris Motor Show, the AEX capsule is situated next to Renault luxury concept EZ-Ultimo, an electric, autonomous, connected robo-vehicle, showing what the marriage of tomorrow’s mobility and multi-media, immersive content experience could feel like.

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