Renault’s new scientific director is none other than Siri’s co-creator: the Franco-American engineer Luc Julia. The French diamond constructor made the announcement at the end of last week, as part of yet another recruit from tech.
In his “Renaulution” plan setting goals for the next five years, new CEO Luca de Meio described Renault as “a technology company” more than a manufacturer. This time, he will indeed have a foot in Silicon Valley.
Ex-Apple, co-creator of Siri
Franco-American, Luc Julia forged most of his career in California. He was born in Toulouse, France, but completed his training in the study of telecommunications in the United States, where he leans among the headliners in research. in artificial intelligence and the Human-Machine Interface.
Passed by Samsung more recently as vice-president in charge of innovation, he is nevertheless known for his place of co-creator of Siri, Apple’s voice assistant thanks to the first patents filed in 1997 (Siri was launched in 2007) and its software “The Assistant”.
A first contract in France
AT Challenges, the engineer explains that this is the first time he will work in France. It will be on behalf of Renault, as “scientific director”. Its merger with the manufacturer dates from only a few months ago, after a visit to Paris and a dinner with the CEO of Renault.
He said in an interview with the weekly that he did not intend, however, to stay all of his months at Renault headquarters in Boulogne-Billancourt. The diamond brand will therefore have its antenna in the United States, one foot in Silicon Valley which corresponds to the line presented by the brand during a conference on January 14th.
Electric car, autonomous car and recycling
To enter the new decade and come out of a year 2020 with delicate financial statements, the new CEO has deeply turned Renault in the reality of an industry in full turmoil. Technology, services, and the highest yields will be the key to this new roadmap discussed under the title of “Renaulution”.
Future projects therefore concern the opening of a production plant in the North, devoted exclusively to electric cars. In addition to having to perfect their batteries and new charging technologies, these future models will also enter a new market for which se stand out will go through on-board technologies, and the transition to “place of life” interiors, as driving becomes autonomous.
In terms of ecology, Renault also plans to transform its Flins site. In western Paris, the manufacturer’s historic production plant will become “a recycling hub”, to accelerate the group’s circular economy in a new era made up of electronic components and batteries.
“Our ambition, by 2030, is to achieve more turnover than by assembling cars there.” A target estimated at “one billion euros […] in the circular economy ”Luca de Meio was saying about it, just last week.