The Škoda Auto after-sales department and ŠKODA AUTO DigiLab are trialling a new smartphone app: “Sound Analyser”. The app uses artificial intelligence (AI) and helps to quickly and accurately identify the need for any servicing. The programme records noises made by the respective vehicle while it is running and compares them with stored sound patterns. In the event of any discrepancies, the app uses an algorithm to determine what they are and how they can be resolved. In this way, “Sound Analyser” helps to make vehicle maintenance more efficient, reduce the time a car spends at the garage and achieve even higher levels of customer satisfaction.
Stanislav Pekař, Head of After Sales at ŠKODA AUTO, said, “Sound Analyser is a prime example of the new opportunities digitalisation at ŠKODA can create, even in terms of after-sales. We will continue to consistently use artificial intelligence technologies to offer our customers an even more personalised service, thus enhancing the customer experience even further.”
The “Sound Analyser” app uses artificial intelligence to reliably, clearly and quickly assess the current condition of wearing parts and notify technicians of any required servicing. For this purpose, the programme considers various vehicle-specific parameters and analyses the usage profile of the respective car. To this end, Sound Analyser makes it even easier for technicians to perform accurate diagnostics on a vehicle as they will only need a standard smartphone or tablet to use the app.
Although the programme is highly complex, its operation is intuitive: the sounds made while the vehicle is running can be recorded using a smartphone. An algorithm then compares the recording with stored sound patterns and, based on this, provides a concrete description of the result. The software is already able to recognise ten patterns – with an accuracy of over 90 per cent –, including for components such as the steering system, the air conditioning compressor, and the clutches in the direct-shift gearbox. The app is also set up to recognise further sound patterns.
The smartphone app has been trialled in 14 countries – including Germany, Russia, Austria and France – since June 2019. A total of 245 ŠKODA dealers have been taking part in the pilot project. They are instrumental in providing the audio recordings for the software’s ‘learning process’ and are thus directly contributing to the programme’s development. In addition, the vehicle’s online connection can be used to arrange an appointment directly with the responsible garage, if necessary.