Through its venture-capital arm, General Motors is investing in an Israeli start-up whose technology makesit easier to inspect vehicles brought to a dealership for repair or a trade-in.
More than 4,000 GM retailers will be eligible to subscribe to the vehicle-inspection equipment from Israel-based UVeye, which is already being evaluated at several GM dealerships in North America.
The strategic collaboration between GM Ventures and UVeye, which has ties to other OEMs such as Volvo, Hyundai and Toyota, is intended to accelerate the development and commercialization of UVeye’s high-speed inspection technology.
The two companies have agreed to work on vehicle-inspection-technology projects involving used-car auctions, fleet operations and dealership sales.
UVeye systems use artificial intelligence, machine learning and high-definition camera technologies to quickly and accurately check tires and to inspect underbody components and vehicle exteriors for defects, missing parts and other safety-related issues.
UVeye plans to incorporate electric-vehicle and autonomous-driving platforms into its inspection databases as well.
The companies plan to explore applications that would extend the technology to provide exterior scans and photography to generate sales potentially.
“We are on a journey to create the best customer service experience possible,” says John Roth, GM global vice president-Customer Care and After Sales. “And the implementation of UVeye into our dealership service lanes helps us do that. Providing real-time, consistent and accurate feedback to our customers will help us ensure they are getting the best performance out of their vehicle.”
Amir Hever, UVeye’s CEO and co-founder, says his company shares a common vision with GM to improve service quality that can benefit dealers, technicians, and customers.
UVeye has facilities in North America, Europe and the Asia Pacific region, including offices in Israel, Japan, Germany and the U.S. The company has formed strategic partnerships with numerous dealership groups, used-car auctions and vehicle fleets since it was founded in 2016.
GM dealerships have access to three high-speed UVeye systems that use a combination of proprietary algorithms, cloud architecture, artificial intelligence, machine learning and sensor-fusion technologies. Heyer notes that automated inspection processes take seconds to complete and are significantly more accurate than time-consuming manual inspections commonly in use today.
UVeye technology grew out of the security industry to detect weapons and contraband and is now used to protect airports, military bases and other sensitive installations worldwide. It is used in the auto industry to detect quality issues including oil leaks, paint scratches, tire problems, brake-line damage and exhaust-system issues (pictured, below).
The drive-through system can detect any external or mechanical flaw within seconds and identify anomalies, modifications or foreign objects from underneath and from any side of a vehicle.
“It will change the way customers are treated on the service line,” says David Marsh, GM executive director-North American Sales and Marketing. He says the system will benefit dealers and consumers by offering a standardized report for each vehicle.
The technology can also relieve the pressure on dealership technicians, many of which are shorthanded. “We have dealers that are using it daily,” says Marsh.
As the collaboration continues, GM and UVeye will look to expand technology applications across the automaker’s global dealer network, enhancing the robustness of real-time vehicle diagnostics.