Today’s fleet operators deal with a wide variety of challenges including an extremely high COVID-related demand for delivery services, a shortage of trained technicians, a lack of replacement parts, additional vehicle downtime and higher insurance costs.
Pioneering in automated vehicle-inspection-technologies, UVeye offers high-speed systems that are much faster and more accurate than traditional service-lane inspections and help fleet operators correct problems before they can lead to much more costly repairs and downtime.
“We are helping our fleet customers solve major problems caused by faulty vehicle-inspection processes,” said Mike Bush, UVeye’s director of North American fleet sales. “Today, manual inspections are not always done, and when they are done, they often are not done thoroughly.”
A recent survey of UVeye customers showed that automated inspections can identify 96 percent of existing vehicle defects compared to just 24 percent for manual inspections, according to Bush.
Founded in 2016, UVeye offers vehicle-inspection systems based on advanced artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies for both the automotive and homeland security industries. UVeye systems utilize a combination of proprietary algorithms, cloud architecture, artificial intelligence and sensor fusion technologies to spot within seconds a wide range of issues from worn tires to missing or defective underbody parts. High-speed inspection systems can reduce repair costs and keep fleet vehicles on the road, while helping to eliminate potential accidents, avoid costly downtime and improve overall vehicle safety.
UVeye systems are increasing the speed and quality of inspection processes on assembly lines, at new- and used-car dealerships, used-car auction houses, and major vehicle fleets, as well as at security checkpoints around the world.
The company offers three high-speed vehicle-inspection systems that are suited for a variety of fleets, including so-called “final-mile” delivery vans and trucks, as well as private, police, medical, rental, public transit, food delivery, school bus, taxi and municipal fleets.
The drive-through systems Helios, Artemis and Atlas systems each create condition reports that detail inspection results. They are set up to accommodate a variety of vehicle sizes, from trucks to cars. Some fleet operators use all three products, while others focus on UVeye’s tire and underbody systems.
One dealership using UVeye’s tire and underbody scans reports a potential monthly net profit of more than $46,000 for additional tire replacements, wheel alignments and underbody work.
Ideally, fleet inspections are done on a daily basis as vehicles return from their rounds.
UVeye also is looking into installing its equipment at highway truck stops and toll centers for scanning on a per-pay basis.
Prior to 2021, UVeye had raised more than $40 million from carmakers and other strategic investors such as W. R. Berkley Corp. Hyundai’s investment is part of an ongoing plan to make use of UVeye’s products and platforms at various locations across Hyundai’s operations globally.
In 2021, UVeye secured $60 million in additional funding to support its global expansion plans.
CarMax, W. R. Berkley Corp. and F.I.T. Ventures are among the participants in UVeye’s Series C funding round. CarMax, the largest used-car retailer in the U.S., joins a UVeye group of investors that already includes Volvo Cars, Hyundai Motors and Toyota Tsusho where the company’s inspection systems are in use in auto dealership service departments and on assembly lines.
“The completion of Series C funding represents a significant step forward for UVeye and our plans to expand in Europe and the United States,” said Amir Hever, the company’s CEO and co-founder.
“We have a strong team of investors and corporate partners to help us set new quality standards for vehicle inspection across a broad range of industries.” UVeye currently has facilities in North America, Europe and the Asia Pacific region, including offices in Israel, Japan, Germany and the U.S.
The company has raised more than $90 million and has formed strategic partnerships with numerous dealership groups, used car auctions and vehicle fleets.
The automaker’s new automated vehicle inspection process takes seconds to complete and is significantly faster and more accurate than time-consuming manual inspections, according to Rick Bryant, vice president for sales operations at Volvo Car USA.
Volvo is rolling out a new program to equip dealerships in the U.S. with automated vehicle-inspection systems. Being launched at select dealerships on the East Coast, the company ultimately hopes a majority of its more than 280 dealerships in the U.S. will use new automated vehicle-inspection systems.
“This is a home run for Volvo and for our dealers,” Bryant says. “UVeye’s automated systems will add a new level of credibility to the inspection process. And credibility is key for us, for our dealers and for our customers.”
Volvo prides itself on the company’s long-standing reputation for safety which will be further enhanced by the use of automated inspection systems in dealership service departments.
UVeye systems, for example, can spot safety issues ranging from damaged tires to defective underbody parts before major problems and accidents can occur.
UVeye offers inspection systems for use in both the homeland security and automotive fields. The company’s solutions can be used throughout the lifecycle of a vehicle, from supplier and OEM assembly lines to new-car showrooms, dealership service departments and used-vehicle auction sites. Its inspection platforms add a layer of efficiency and enable new data insights for customers along the automotive value chain.
“Our automated, contact-free systems are dramatically changing how auto dealers, major fleet operators and used-vehicle auctions inspect vehicles,” UVeye’s Hever noted. “Whether we are working with automakers, dealerships, used-vehicle auctions or major fleets, UVeye makes it easy for them to automatically inspect any type of vehicle, while guaranteeing much higher quality standards for processes that once used to be handled manually.”
James Smith, a UVeye customer and the owner of V.I.P. Auctions in Cummings, Ga.,, near Atlanta, agrees. V.I.P. Auctions currently uses the UVeye Artemis tire scanner and the Helios underbody-inspection system. V.I.P. performs UVeye inspections when vehicles are registered for either its in-house or online auctions.
“We were doing it manually, but the UVeye scans pick up more,” Smith explains. “The undercarriage scan can find leaks that you wouldn’t see unless they were major. We’ve also had it detect missing catalytic converters. The tire scanner quickly catches problems such as rim curb scrapes, tire age and side bulges that can cause a blowout. It also picks up tread depth, tire make and mismatched tires. It sees so much more than you would ordinarily notice.”
Smith makes it a point to tell auction participants that UVeye’s automated inspection systems are behind V.I.P.’s detailed reports. The automated inspections create both credibility and transparency, he notes, adding that they also reduce man hours devoted to inspections.
UVeye’s Bush said that the company’s inspection processes are game changers. “For us, it is just a matter of getting the word out and explaining the benefits. Detecting a problem early on can mean the difference between replacing a gasket and dealing with a blown engine,” Bush explained.
“Catching a tire problem before it can cause a high-speed accident will save money and potentially save lives as well. About 11,000 tire-related accidents take place a year involving 600 fatalities in the U.S. alone, according to NHTSA.”
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