Autonomous vehicles promise a future where you can peacefully read on your morning commute, and Renault wants a say in what you're consuming.
Renault has purchased a 40 percent stake in the Challenges Group, a French publishing concern known for its coverage of the automotive industry. The goal is to provide future owners of autonomous cars with an array of editorial content. This investment goes hand-in-hand with Renault's recent efforts to develop a functional self-driving vehicle, which is slated to hit public roads by 2021.
"This project is totally in line with Groupe Renault's strategy, which aims to offer new, high-quality connected services and to improve the customer experience," Renault CEO Carlos Ghosn said in a statement.
The French automaker debuted a self-driving concept, the Symbioz, at September's Frankfurt Motor Show. The concept vehicle serves to showcase new ideas about automotive interior design when a driver's input and attention is no longer required. The Symbioz uses a unique disappearing instrument panel and steering wheel, and features tech from video game developer Ubisoft, as well as hi-fi component manufacturer Diavalet.
Renault's move into publishing is not without precedent. In November, Intel and Warner Bros. announced a partnership to develop in-car entertainment options for autonomous vehicles (though that lacked the direct involvement of a vehicle manufacturer). Of course, the acquisition of a publication -- even in part -- by one of the subjects it seeks to cover should raise ethical concerns, though Renault has stressed that they will prioritize editorial independence.