Renault and Nissan Motor Co. became the latest automakers to open a global research and development center in California's Silicon Valley.
The researchers will study self-driving cars and Internet auto technology.
Renault and Nissan, which formed a commercial partnership in 1999 called the Renault-Nissan Alliance, opened an initial office in Mountain View, Calif., in 2011. Engineers from that office will work in the larger Sunnyvale lab, known as the Nissan Research Center Silicon Valley.
Other automakers that have also opened research and development centers in the high-tech region include Volkswagen, General Motors and BMW. The location gives them access to top tech companies and engineering talent.
The new Silicon Valley research center will collaborate with the Nissan Research Center in Japan.
"As we continue to expand our R&D capabilities throughout the world, we aggressively pursue our activities to create new values of mobility, by harnessing the latest information and communication technologies here in our new research center in Silicon Valley," Nissan Executive Vice President Mitsuhiko Yamashita said in a press statement.