This can be called an investment
At the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show, Renault showcased the Twizy-based POM (for Platform Open Mind), presented as the “world’s first open-source mass-market vehicle.”
It may sound like the French are giving the little EV car blueprints to whoever is interested, which is partially correct —the POM is “an open-source automotive platform which is a compact and lightweight electric vehicle with bodywork parts removed.”
With the help of software specialist OSVehicle and processor maker ARM — who cracked the car’s operating system — POM will be available to “startups, independent laboratories, private customers, and researchers,” an invitation for the “third parties to copy and modify existing software to create a totally customizable electric vehicle.”
We can’t tell how exactly Renault is going to profit from all this experience, but, for the sake of simplicity, let’s imagine this super-cordial scenario: someone is improving/developing Renault’s software. Then Renault officials come. “Wow, this idea is awesome, wanna work together in implementing this in our vehicles?”.
Befriending with the software developers will pay off generously for Renault regarding in-car tech and connectivity, giving the French an edge in an area that proves to be more and more important nowadays.