Instead of Apple and Android: Renault showed its own ecosystem for car and smartphone communication


Imagine that you decided on the weekend to go with friends to rest, well, let’s say, in the city of artists Plyos. You looked at the map and thought: why not stop in Vladimir on the way, forge a horseshoe in the forge of Borodiny, walk through Spasskaya and Georgievskaya, look in the museum spoon? And now you are quietly set the route and load it into the navigation system of your car. And you choose the filling station carefully, so that the gasoline was not too expensive, and you were sure of its quality.

Meanwhile, friends call and say that they have already arrived and parked near your car. You offer them to throw their stuff in your trunk, and while you are getting ready to sit in the cold and comfort. It’s hot outside! A few clicks – and now the engine of your car is running, the cabin air conditioner is working, and friends can safely wait while you pick up the things and go out of the apartment.

And then you arrive in Vladimir. But Spasskaya and Georgievskaya are pedestrian streets, so you stop at an accessible parking lot, and your phone instantly has a walking route to the facilities you need. You’ve had your walk and decide to continue on your way? The system will help you find your car in a packed parking lot and choose a suitable place to eat on the way to your place of overnight stay in Plyos, which, by the way, you also booked online…

About the way the work of the system of connected services Renault Connect, the official launch of which the company announced on April 8. But what is fundamentally new in this system? Indeed, virtually all laid down in the system functions in one form or another are already available to drivers of modern cars, but have a lot of restrictions. For instance, to start the engine or open the doors with a remote control is possible only from a relatively short distance, within line-of-sight.

Navigation systems installed in the head units of cars, as a rule, do not know how to navigate roads through traffic jams. Have you noticed, that many owners of cars with big touch screen displays, decorating the front panel, nevertheless, hang their smartphone on the bracket? Say, you can use the smartphone and car integration systems, the same Android Auto or CarPlay? Well, yes, you can. But connecting a phone each time takes time, and the functionality of these systems is still limited. And Renault offers a fully factory solution, which will not require any installation effort or additional fees.

That’s how the system works. First, it includes your smartphone (even an iPhone, even a device on the Android system) with the MY Renault app installed on it. At the other end of the chain is the car (which must necessarily be equipped with a head unit with Easy Link system and telematics unit). To date, such systems are equipped with such models as the Arkana, the new Kaptur and the new Duster, released after March 11, 2021 (although only in higher and medium configurations).

Well, the role of an intermediary between the car and a smartphone is performed by the Renault cloud with subsystems A-VNEXT and Kamereon, which is accessed through a cell phone provider. In Russia, “VimpelCom” was chosen as such a provider, that is, the system will work in the coverage area of “Beeline”. In this case, you do not need to buy an additional SIM card, to register your number, and the traffic on the smartphone tariff will also remain unaffected. And it is very important to understand that your car has no contact with the general open Internet – exclusively with the cloud services of Renault.

As I said, after purchasing the car, the owner needs to install the MY Renault app. Naturally, it is available to all owners of cars of this brand, and through it you can get a lot of additional information: find the nearest dealer, get recommendations on maintenance, make an appointment for repairs … But to use the connected services, you will need to register yourself, to come up with a pin code and register the car. After that the pin-code will have to be entered for each remote manipulation with the car – it is required by security issues.

However, soon it won’t be necessary to enter the pin code every time. Actually, the owners of iPhone can already use confirmation of their commands with biometric data (fingerprints) and face identification, but the owners of Android-gadgets will have to wait. But such work is already in progress.

By the way, you should not be afraid that a stranger will be able to get into a remotely opened and started vehicle and drive away. No, he is able to get in, but not to start the car. For that, the key is necessary. This, of course, limits the possibilities of remote car transfer – well, for example, if you need to leave the car in the parking lot and your spouse will drive up or come over there and drive on. But it’s safer that way…

Finally, the car navigation system received a lot of new functions – from routing taking into account traffic jams, road repairs and information about the weather, road signs, cameras and radars to the ability to search for objects and information about them using Google. This means that right from the screen of the head unit you can not only find, for example, a museum you are interested in, but also find out its opening hours and ticket prices, not only navigate to the restaurant, but also look through the menu with prices. Well, and the supplier of information on traffic and congestion is a long-standing partner of Renault, the navigation service TomTom.

In Renault are very proud to be the first brand in the mass segment, which is ready to offer plug-in services as its own factory solution with full functionality. Indeed, comparable (and in some ways superior) to the set of functions of the factory systems Me Connect and Connected Drive have Mercedes and BMW, but those brands are completely different price segment.

The systems offered by Hyundai, Kia, Toyota and Lexus do not yet have a number of important functions, such as remote activation of the climate system and engine start. Well, the systems Lada Connect and StarLine are aftermarket solutions, for which you have to pay extra and make a regular subscription fee.

Well, if you have long decided to buy a car Renault, realized that you exactly need the features that provide services Renault Connect, but do not want to go into detail and find out when your car was produced and whether this or that set of equipment is suitable for connecting all these services, you can turn your attention to a limited edition Arkana Pulse.

Externally, these cars differ from all others with a black roof, tinted rear windows, black side mirror covers, black 17-inch wheels of unique design and the presence of a “shark fin” antenna on the roof. Inside, there are decorative elements “as if carbon fiber,” aluminum pedal pads, red plastic inserts and red stitching.

Configuration Arkana Pulse corresponds to the maximum, so the car equipped with a motor TCe-150 and a variator X-Tronic, costs 1 740 000 rubles (with all-wheel drive) or 1 660 000 (in front-wheel drive version). But there is no need to pay extra for additional options (because all of them are already installed), and the Renault Connect services work for sure.

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