November 19, 2022
Renault Group is the latest automaker to announce major digitalization plans, confirming a move into the industrial metaverse.
The technology combines augmented and virtual reality across many platforms, enabling various digital interactions. The industrial metaverse can provide several benefits, including a new marketing opportunity for new audiences.
According to Renault, the system will be based on four dimensions: massive data collection, digital twins, supply chains and advanced technologies. Renault states that the integration of the metaverse can provide “better visibility of the work environment, giving actors greater flexibility and autonomy in making decisions.”
It all starts with data
Data will be collected from all Renault industrial sites, through a mass information capture solution. Physical assets will be modeled into digital twins, with each factory and supply chain given a real-time replica in the virtual world, existing in its own digitized universe.
All this information will be integrated into a comprehensive ecosystem, which includes supplier data, sales forecasts and quality information, as well as weather and traffic alerts.
The various technologies that make up Renault’s industrial metaverse will be supported by the company’s ‘unique’ Industrial Data Management Platform 4.0 (IDM4.0). Data is stored on the Google cloud platform and then fed into the industrial metaverse, which can change or correct manufacturing processes in real time.
A control tower will concentrate information flows, including real-time warnings. This will reveal risks or anomalies in transport operations and, with the help of artificial intelligence (AI), propose optimized scenarios for crisis management.
‘Dexterity and autonomy’
By using AI algorithms and virtual reality (VR), Renault aims to improve the efficiency of management functions and support supply chains. Renault claims that since 2019 300 warnings have been detected and 300 production interruptions have been avoided thanks to IDM4.0.
“This industrial metaverse is unique and allows us to activate previously unseen efficiency and performance levers, for the benefit of people and the environment,” said Patrice Haettel, vice president, industrial strategy and engineering at Renault Group.
“Managing the data at group level allows us to monitor in detail the energy consumption of all our industrial and non-industrial sites and, above all, to optimize it in real time when an installation breaks down,” adds Haettel.
Follow a trend
Renault’s move into the metaverse may sound like the plans of a technology company, rather than a legendary automaker.
Frédéric Vincent, executive vice president for information systems and digital at Renault, emphasized that the company’s inverse goals are “all the levers to accelerate into a technology company.” Other major manufacturers have also adopted metaverse-related strategies more in line with tech startups.
In June, Hyundai unveiled the “mobility of things,” which puts users in control of a “digital twin” to interact in real life with objects, people or pets hundreds of miles away. More generally, the automaker appears to be embracing the growth of autonomous technology by allowing vehicle occupants to access the metaverse and immerse themselves in a different reality along the way.
Audi recently launched the first fully featured virtual reality application for customer consultation at dealerships. This follows the German company’s plans to introduce VR in-car entertainment from startup holoride to series production.
Earlier this year, British luxury car manufacturer McLaren entered into a partnership Infinite World, with the aim of providing customers with a deeper digital experience. Bee CES 2022, there were also many rumors about integrating the virtual landscape into the automotive world. Both Korean car manufacturer Hyundai and car supplier Valeo presented concepts and technology, taking advantage of the ever-expanding concept.