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Renault-Nissan gets in on the mobility-app game

The company is buying up a tech firm to develop services that fit into our new sharing economy.

It's a smarter acquisition than, say, picking up a controlling stake in Mitsubishi, for example.

Loic Venance/AFP/Getty Images

The sharing economy is the new hotness, and automakers are champing at the bit to get involved, one way or another. To overlook new methods of mobility would be to overlook a potentially large pile of money, which is why Renault-Nissan is set to acquire a software development company.

The auto-manufacturing conglomerate announced its intent to acquire French software developer Sylpheo, Reuters reports. The company would pick up the 40 engineers and consultants working under Sylpheo with the intent of bolstering its development cred, ideally to develop new mobility services like car sharing.

Sylpheo will first focus on app development for Renault-Nissan's connected car services, which will eventually become integrated with autonomous tech. The pair hope to release nearly a dozen vehicles with at-least-semi-autonomous features by the end of the decade, and the Sylpheo acquisition should help them achieve those goals.

Nissan is far from the first company to start investing heavily in tech firms. Automakers across the globe, including Toyota, Mercedes-Benz and General Motors have all put money behind both alternate methods of mobility as well as software firms looking to build the next generation of connected-car platforms.