Its ambition was to transform the field of automobile inspection in the broad sense: whether at car dealerships, rental companies or repairers, ProovStation intended to install its connected gates there, linked to a mobile application using artificial intelligence, in order to to automate and make reliable a diagnostic step, deemed “operator dependent” and too time-consuming.
This Thursday, the young shoot co-founded in Lyon in 2018 by Cédric Bernard, from the Bernard automotive group (Bourg-en Bresse), will present the “V2” of its connected gantry at the Lyon Motor Show, currently being deployed to 130 customers in Europe, but now also in Asia and the United States.
With the menu, a new generation of its automotive gantry which wants to be even more “high-tech” since it offers, with the help of artificial intelligence, an automatic scan of a vehicle (all sizes combined) in l space of 3 seconds… enough to open the door wide to the “industrialization” of the very concept of automobile inspection.
Because if it still does not aim for mechanical inspection or to replace the act of technical control, the young shoot rather wants to compete with visual inspection, where it already estimated that there was a sizeable market at the start of 2021.
An inspection at an “industrial” pace
From now on, the new generation of its product will go through the transition from a monochrome black and white camera to a color camera, which reflects its desire to bring more precision during its inspections. Its scanner will also now take nearly 300 photos per vehicle, with a possible passage every 20 seconds… That is a capacity of 1,000 vehicles maximum per day, even if this figure is not necessarily intended to be reached.
“This pace is relevant given the business of our customers, who are now car rental companies like Sixt, with whom we are rolling out an experiment at Lyon airport, players like the British Car Auction in England, or the logistics company GCA of the Charles André group. Between manufacturers, repairers, distributors, rental companies and logisticians, we now cover the entire chain of automotive players,” argues Cédric Bernard.
The connected gate of ProovStation has also seen its electricity consumption divided by 7, by relying in particular on a new technology from the field of optronics (a combination optics and electronics used primarily in the military field) and thanks to the optimization of certain on-board tools.
” Our installation process has also been accelerated, since a station can now be deployed in a few hours, at a cost of between 3,000 and 5,000 euros, through monthly rental including a commitment ranging from 48 to 72 months”confirms the co-founder.
Another novelty: this automotive scanner includes a sensor measuring tire pressure, designed directly by the Michelin group, under a partnership established last year with the Clermont equipment supplier and which allows ProovStation to make the invisible “visible”.
From rental companies to a wider clientele… including even private individuals?
It is therefore understandable that after having initially focused its model on the major players in car rental, this show is an opportunity for the young Lyonnais company to confirm its openness to other target customers… by going even target, within a few months, the target of individuals, through a partnership that should be announced very soon.
“Our idea is to be able to open up private customers to us as well by offering those who wish to sell their car or carry out a repair access to our gantries in order to benefit from a free inspection which can be linked to an offer from one of our partners, for example by receiving a firm take-back commitment for their vehicle or an estimate for a repair “.
For this, areas of high traffic, such as shopping centers, could be favored for this type of deployment, the terms of which have yet to be specified.
Industrialization in France that keeps pace
To design its connected gates, ProovStation has a partnership with a French industrialist, whose name it wishes to remain confidential, but one thing is certain: it would have sufficient capacity to meet demand.
“We can go up to 50 gantries manufactured per month, which is enough to feed our plan which aims to double our fleet being deployed each year, which today is 130 stations”, assures Cédric Bernard.
A figure which would not be affected either, for the time being, by the shortage of electronic components which has hit the automotive sector, nor by the rise in the price of materials, according to its co-founder.
“We already had a good order book which allowed us to smooth out our production as we went along and to prepare”.
Facing it, three main competitors remain present in this market on an international scale, notably in Germany, Israel and the United Kingdom. This does not particularly worry ProovStation, which intends to bet, on the one hand, on the promise of speed of its new generation of stations (3 seconds per inspection), but also, on the continuous learning of its artificial intelligence algorithms, who are already currently trained to achieve “several tens of thousands of inspections per month”.
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Automotive inspection: with the new generation of its connected gantry, ProovStation sets out to conquer export
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