What Will It Cost To Fix That Door Ding? Artificial Intelligence Can Help

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High-tech companies are bringing Artificial Intelligence to bear on the vehicle-inspection process.

That sounds a little dry, but it’s potentially a game-changer for anyone with a smartphone who wants to file an insurance claim, pick up or drop off a rent-a-car or a ride-share, turn in a lease vehicle, or someday, make a dealership service appointment, knowing in advance what’s wrong with the vehicle.

“I call it ‘proliferation of inspection,’ ” said Eliron Ekstein, co-founder and CEO of Ravin AI, based in London, with offices in Israel and Austin, Texas.

“Traditionally, you have to bring the car to an auto auction, or to a special place at a dealership, and have a specialist look at it. We see a need to inspect vehicles during their use by non-professionals, by ordinary people like you and me,” he said in a phone interview.

The obvious problem with do-it-yourself inspections is that most people don’t know what they’re looking at. That’s where Artificial Intelligence comes in.

Companies like Ravin AI can instantly compare a video shot by the consumer with the distilled learning from millions of images of damaged and undamaged vehicles. An AI-enabled program can also prompt the consumer where to position the camera if they’re out of position, or if they missed any spots, Ekstein said.

There are a lot more potential uses, he said. For example, when you’re done with a ride-share vehicle, there may be no opportunity for the owner to inspect the vehicle before another user comes along and drives it away.

For the protection of the owner and the driver, there needs to be a way to reliably certify in detail what shape the vehicle is in, and when, Ekstein said. If there’s damage, a timely inspection can attribute the damage to the right customer.

At the end of an auto lease, Ekstein said it’s time-consuming and stressful for the consumer, to have to make an appointment for an inspector to come make an in-person inspection of the leased vehicle to be turned in, if required. It’s also time-consuming and costly for the leasing company.

Instead of all that, Artificial Intelligence makes inspections a convenient, standardized, repeatable process, he said. “The purpose is really to normalize the quality of the inspection, with people who are not professionals.”

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