Google Cloud will optimize Renault’s industrial data platform
Google LLC’s cloud unit has landed a deal with Renault SA, one of the world’s top automakers, to help the company gain better analytics insights into its manufacturing operations.
The deal represents a win for the search giant amid its efforts to win more business in the auto sector with its cloud services and Android Automotive operating system.
The size of the Renault contract was not specified in the announcement today. Bloomberg, which spoke to Google Cloud Chief Executive Thomas Kurian, reported that the search giant is describing the deal as the largest of its kind globally.
Google Cloud’s collaboration with Renault will focus on an industrial analytics platform the automaker developed in 2016 to help it find ways of improving its manufacturing operations. It collects data from about 2,500 machines in 22 facilities. The cloud deal is aimed at “optimizing” the platform, the companies said, without going into specifics.
One possibility is that Renault will look to plug some of Google Cloud’s analytics and artificial intelligence services into the platform to augment its data processing capabilities. The companies emphasized the role of AI in the partnership, saying the deal “brings Google Cloud’s strength in machine learning and artificial intelligence together with Renault’s expertise in automotive manufacturing to create new industrial solutions.”
Google Cloud will also provide training to the automaker’s employees. The goal is to help Renault engineering, manufacturing and information technology teams become more proficient in digital data management.
Working with Google will help the automaker “accelerate the deployment of our Industry 4.0 plan designed to transform and connect our production sites and logistics processes,” José Vicente de los Mozos, Renault’s director of manufacturing and logistics, said in a statement.
The auto industry’s shift to producing connected vehicles is creating potentially big revenue opportunities for the major public cloud players. The average connected car is expected to generate at least multiple gigabytes of data per day and automakers will need infrastructure to analyze all that information. Given the overall direction of IT spending, at least some of them can be expected to turn to the cloud for their data projects.
Google’s Android Automotive operating system for cars could put it in a strong position to seize the trend. Android Automotive, which is being adopted by General Motors Co. and others, has features for collecting vehicle data that can be used in conjunction with Google Cloud’s analytics services. The operating system essentially allows Google to offer automakers an end-to-end solution for collecting, storing analyzing vehicle data.
Google’s auto efforts are one part of its cloud strategy for the broader industrial sector. The latter market is a major focus for rivaling providers as well. Microsoft Corp., for instance, last month acquired industrial cybersecurity provider CyberX Inc. in a deal reportedly valued at $165 million.
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