The Renault-Nissan-AvtoVAZ partnership has handed control of its dashboards to local search engine Yandex in Russia.
The group, which has about a third of the Russian market, will use Yandex in locally-made cars for services such as real-time navigation, voice assistance and music.
The pact also opens options to gain direct access to valuable car customer data, more than Apple or Google apps obtain indirectly through smartphones.
“About 20 million Russians use our app to navigate through traffic jams, putting a phone on a window-mounted cradle,” Roman Chernin, Yandex’s head of geolocation services, said in an interview. “So we sought to build it into the head unit.”
Yandex.Auto, the search engine’s infotainment system, will be fitted into more than 2 million Renault, Nissan and Lada cars in the next five years.