Plastic Omnium is a leader in mobility with decades of experience in designing and building modules and panels for automakers. With a mission to offer technologies for more sustainable, safer, connected, and inspiring automotive journeys, Plastic Omnium is now entering the world of AI with their software focused startup OP’nSoft, and a new partnership with Paravision.
Can you briefly tell us about Plastic Omnium?
Founded in 1946, Plastic Omnium is a family-owned business and a world leader in developing technologies that tackle the design, safety and sustainability challenges facing all forms of mobility. The Group has longstanding expertise in designing and producing complex body panels and fuel tanks for automakers around the world.
With a bold innovation strategy boosted by transformative acquisitions, it has become a unique technology partner providing automakers with innovative solutions. We became a leading global player in hydrogen mobility for trucks, buses, trains. In 2022, Plastic Omnium significantly extended its range of expertise, with acquisitions in lighting and electrification based on batteries, as well as the complete integration of HBPO’s module business and the creation of OP’nSoft, a new structure dedicated entirely to software development.
Leveraging these new activities in addition to its historical business lines, the Group now has a unique integrated line-up of solutions to meet all the needs of its customers for ever safer and more connected mobility.
Can you tell us a bit about Plastic Omnium’s OP’nSoft?
Plastic Omnium is redesigning the car for a software-based world where mobility is increasingly electric, connected, autonomous and shared. The software-defined vehicle is becoming the rule. Plastic Omnium stands ready to support this trend and offer its advanced expertise. That is why we have created OP’nSoft, as an internal start-up, to develop a state-of-the art Software Development Center to develop all software included into our products but also all the related off-board services. In the purpose, OP’nSoft is serving both “Driving” and “New” as we want to be in the driver seat of the automotive industry transformation and that we want to base it on Innovations.
How do Vision AI and face recognition play into your business and offering?
We intend to introduce Vision AI and face recognition embedded into our current products to increase their value and provide new feature to our customers.
The goal is to create a use case that will ease the interaction between a vehicle and its driver or passenger. Identification can serve several purposes such as managing entry into the vehicle, personalization of settings, and safety. For instance, thanks to facial recognition and liveness, the amount of fraud can be considerably reduced as car access is enabled with only the driver’s live face.
Why did you decide to work with Paravision?
Paravision is one of the best teams in face recognition and they have a clear strategy on how to address different industry sectors. Partnering with Paravision helps OP’nSoft to start its development in the Software as a Service business and offer new kinds of capabilities to our customers.
What are the next major trends in connected vehicles and mobility?
One of the biggest trends is the change from a product-based mobility towards a usage-based mobility. This impacts everything from design choices, and lighting usage, to the interior of the car and the interaction between the car and the driver. Another significant trend is the decarbonization of the industry with Fuel Cell Electrical Vehicles and Battery Electrical Vehicles. This is enabling increased connectivity as electricity is available in the car even when the engine is stopped. Lastly, recent technological advancements are disrupting the industry, with software, Artificial Intelligence, and soon quantum computing. This new world of mobility remains to be invented. Plastic Omnium is excited to be a significant part of that future!
Alexandre Corjon is EVP of Innovation & Software at Plastic Omnium.