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What do vehicle inspections look like in the age of artificial intelligence?

02 July 2024 · By Ana Navarrina

As published by Fleetworld.

The automotive industry is adopting AI across various areas, including manufacturing, maintenance and safety. The need for increased efficiency, improved accuracy and reduced costs is driving this transformation in the industry, with the use of AI expected to achieve a compound annual growth rate of almost 40%, reaching $15.9bn (£12.5bn) by 2027.

AI has proven to be extremely valuable for streamlining processes and reducing costs, and the area of vehicle inspections is no exception. While the traditional approach to vehicle inspections has been primarily manual, relying on human expertise and experience, manual inspections have their limitations and challenges that hinder effectiveness. For example, they can be time-consuming, prone to errors and subject to human bias.

As the automotive industry advances and vehicles become more complex, it becomes increasingly clear that manual inspections will become more challenging to scale. The good news is that AI can already empower – rather than replace – human inspectors, helping them automate many manual steps and enhance their decision-making capabilities.

By leveraging computer vision AI and machine learning, it is now possible to analyse vast amounts of vehicle-related data quickly and detect potential issues with unparalleled accuracy. Another one of the greatest advantages of using AI for vehicle inspections is the ability to process images and video footage remotely. Photos and videos of a vehicle can be uploaded ‘off-site’ via mobile devices for AI algorithms to process and identify any damage or issues in real-time. This eliminates the need for human inspectors to rely solely on their in-person inspection skills, reducing the chances of errors or overlooking critical issues.

Enabling remote vehicle inspections, at scale

In many situations, conducting on-site inspections is not practical or cost-effective. Remote inspections powered by AI offer a solution in such cases. Through photos and videos submitted by vehicle owners or operators, AI algorithms can analyse the visual evidence and assess the vehicle’s condition without physically being on the scene. This approach is particularly beneficial for conducting inspections on a large scale or in situations where physical access to a vehicle is restricted.

Imagine a fleet of vehicles spread across multiple cities or states. It can be time-consuming and expensive to staff and send inspectors to each location for on-site inspections. With remote inspections, this logistical challenge can be overcome. Vehicle drivers or operators can simply capture images or record videos of the vehicles and submit them for real-time review. AI algorithms can then analyse these visual materials and identify any signs of damage or other issues. This can include subtle changes in the vehicle’s appearance or condition that may not be easily noticeable to the human eye.

Leveraging AI, remote inspections can be conducted efficiently and effectively, saving businesses loads of time and resources. Remote inspections are also beneficial in situations when physical access to a vehicle is restricted. For example, if a vehicle is involved in an accident and awaiting clearance from authorities. In this case, it’s possible to assess the initial extent of the damage quickly and determine the next course of action.

Who stands to benefit most from AI-powered vehicle inspections?

There is immense potential for AI-powered, remote inspections to become the standard, particularly for fleet management companies, insurers and vehicle buyers and sellers.

Fleet management and rental companies

For companies that oversee and maintain large numbers of vehicles, such as fleet management, rental or leasing services, AI-powered inspections offer significant advantages, including quicker assessments, reduced downtime and enhanced maintenance planning. By leveraging AI, these organizations can proactively identify potential issues in their vehicles at any time, enabling them to schedule necessary repairs more efficiently, reduce downtime and maintenance costs, and increase the average vehicle lifetime.

Vehicle insurers

Insurance companies are another sector benefiting immensely from AI-powered vehicle inspections. Real-time inspections using AI can help them assess vehicle conditions accurately, verify claims and even reduce fraudulent activities. Additionally, AI-powered inspections provide insurers valuable data to assess risk during the underwriting process and determine appropriate insurance premiums. By digitising the vehicle inspection process, insurers can improve claim processing times, enhance accuracy and, ultimately, greatly improve the customer experience.

Vehicle buyers & sellers

For vehicle buyers and sellers, AI-powered inspections offer peace of mind and transparency. Potential buyers can request AI-based inspections to ensure they are purchasing a vehicle in good condition. At the same time, sellers can leverage the inspection reports to gain the trust of prospective buyers. AI can help make inspections more accessible, cost-effective and objective – benefiting both parties involved in any vehicle transaction.

The evolution of vehicle inspections

As AI technologies advance, the accuracy and speed of vehicle inspections will undoubtedly continue to improve. Further advancements in AI computer vision and sensor technologies will enable even more comprehensive and sophisticated inspections, forever changing how vehicles are inspected, evaluated and maintained for the better.

Do you want to know more about how the evolution of vehicle inspections can help improve your processes ? Contact us!

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