With an initial focus on autonomous driving and connected cars, the Renault-Nissan Alliance on Feb. 18 celebrated the official opening of a Silicon Valley advanced research center. Located in Sunnyvale, CA, the NRC-SV is part of Nissan's global strategy to expand and localize its R&D function in strategic markets. The center will be given responsibility for selected roles in collaboration with Nissan Research Center in Japan. In addition to autonomous-driving and connected-car technologies, NRC-SV will conduct research in the human-machine interface as it relates to the two main technologies. Planning and advanced development of connected vehicle services are future areas of research at the center. In 2011, engineers from Nissan and Renault began work at a comparatively small office in nearby Mountain View, and will move to the larger Sunnyvale lab.