Renault buys media stake to pave way for driverless future


Paris (AFP)

French carmaker Renault said Wednesday it will buy a big stake in a French newspaper group as it prepares to give motorists reading material while they sit in driverless cars with time on their hands.

The company said it is acquiring 40 percent in the Challenges Group which publishes five magazines on the topics of business, science, research and history.

"Today, French and European commuters spend about two hours in their car every day," Renault said in a statement.

"With the development of the connected driverless vehicle, users will have more time to spend on other activities while in the car," it said.

Challenges and Renault "have everything that is needed to create a 'lab for testing innovation' to develop new editorial content and relevant technologies.

"Each person, in his or her own vehicle, will be able to select and access information and content from the media group which will be totally dedicated to knowledge and information," Renault said.

Noting that "in France, 5,000 newspaper kiosks are going out of business every year", Renault said its project would enable "millions of drivers and their passengers to have completely free access to a choice of high-quality information and content".