AI-Powered App Pinpoints Car Issues Simply by Listening to Its Engine

ŠKODA's new car diagnostics software will facilitate repairs.
Fabienne Lang
ŠKODA Sound AnalyserTramino/iStock

If you own a car, you may have found yourself more than once or twice stumped as to what's wrong with it. You hear a strange sound coming from the engine, but you can't see anything that could be the issue. 

As of last Wednesday, automaker ŠKODA has released an artificial intelligence-(AI) based app that can tell you exactly what's going on with one of its cars merely by listening to it. 

The 'Sound Analyser' app records the car noises and compares it with pre-recorded sound patterns of 'healthy' ŠKODAs.


Where software meets hardware

Car mechanics' lives have just become easier thanks to the Sound Analyser. In fact, since June 2019 already 245 ŠKODA dealers in 14 countries including Germany, Russia, France, and Austria are trying out the app in real life as part of the pilot project.

After listening to the running car, the app uses an AI algorithm to run through stored sound patterns of the car in question. It can then figure out what the issues are, if there are any, and how they can be fixed. 

The result is efficient and accurate car maintenance, which is meant to minimize the time a ŠKODA car spends in a garage to ultimately create higher customer satisfaction. 

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Stanislav Pekař, Head of After Sales at ŠKODA AUTO, said, "Sound Analyser is a prime example of the new opportunities digitalization 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 personalized service, thus enhancing the customer experience even further."

As it stands, the current software is able to analyze 10 patterns with an accuracy of up to 90%, per the automaker. Some of these patterns include the steering system, the air conditioning compressor, and the clutches in the direct-shift gearbox, per ŠKODA. The app is set to be able to recognize more than 10 patterns. 

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