Thursday, May 23, 2024

Google Showcases Software Integration in a Rivian Model at its I/O Developer Conference – EV

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Written by Cláudio Afonso | LinkedIn | X

At Google’s largest developer conference held on Tuesday, attendees were greeted with a sign proclaiming “Experience Google in the car,” placed alongside a Rivian R1T model.

After rumors about Apple surfaced, pictures of the event were posted on a forum for owners and enthusiasts earlier today, sparking questions about a potential partnership with the tech giant.

Last week, the chief executive RJ Scaringe enhanced Rivian‘s “level of vertical integration around software and associated electronics platforms” claiming it gives “a lot of customer facing strength” but also fact that creates “partnership opportunities” without unveiling any new partner.

In an open discussion with Rivian owners held last month, Rivian‘s Vice President of Software Development, Wassym Bensaid, confirmed that video streaming will be released via an over-the-air (OTA) update this summer.

According to Rivian owners in a brand-dedicated forum, Bensaid has recently not answered when asked if Rivian would switch to Google’s mapping solution in its vehicles.


During Google’s keynote, the company unveiled key products its flagship Gemini AI model, which now has a faster Flash version to compete with OpenAI’s recently announced GPT-4o, a faster iteration of their GPT model.

Last week, Rivian reported on Tuesday its financial results from the first quarter of 2024 while reiterating its annual production guidance of 57,000 vehicles.

During the conference call, Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas asked Rivian’s CEO RJ Scaringe about a report suggesting Apple’s interest in collaborating with Rivian.

The chief executive said Rivian “doesn’t comment on market rumors” adding later that the company’s in-vehicle technology gives the automaker “a lot of customer facing strength” while it creates “opportunities for partnership certainly”.

“But as we think about what we’ve built as a company, one of the core elements that makes this unique is just the level of vertical integration around our software and associated electronics platforms. So the ECUs in the vehicle and essentially the various computers across the vehicle and then the base software, the base operating system all the way up to the applications layer, creating those ourselves without the need to rely on Tier 1 suppliers gives us a lot of — gives us a lot of customer facing strength, but also creates opportunities for partnership certainly,” he added.

Earlier this year, Apple scrapped its plans to launch an autonomous electric vehicle after more than a decade of development and a $10 billion investment, deeming the project unfeasible. However, the story might still have a new chapter.

Rivian received last week a $827M incentive package from the State of Illinois allowing the expansion of its plant in Normal.

Written by Cláudio AfonsoLinkedIn | X


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