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New AI inspection tech to tackle leasing, fleet and grey fleet challenges

A new AI-based inspection tool that appraises vehicles in real-time has launched for the fleet and automotive sector.

The customer uses their phone to capture 13 images of the vehicle in the app, which are assessed by the AI system, backed up by a remote desk-based inspection team. An inspection report comes back within 10 minutes

It’s designed to revolutionise vehicle remarketing in the switch to digital solutions but is also helping to ensure compliance within fleet and grey fleet operations, in particular during the pandemic due to social distancing.

Developed in Canada, the PAVE tool is being offered in the UK and Europe by MJB Automotive Solutions, a consultancy and training company specialising in used vehicle retailing solutions for the fleet, leasing and automotive sector.

The company has been founded by Marcus Blakemore, who has more than 30 years’ experience in the automotive sector, including as MD of Gain Solutions, which offers vehicle inspection and fleet management services and was acquired by Dekra Automotive in 2018 and rebranded.

After a two-year handover period as managing director, Blakemore went on to explore long-term solutions to existing fleet and automotive sector issues; a move that led him to discover the PAVE tool.

Developed as an open API, PAVE is essentially a self-inspection solution that turns any phone into a professional inspector in one click. The customer uses their phone to capture 13 images of the vehicle, carefully guided by the app and taking around 2-3 minutes. These are then assessed by the AI system, backed up by a desk-based inspection team, based remotely and operating 24/7 to ‘sanity’ the results. And an inspection report comes back within 10 minutes – in most cases within five – providing results and grading vehicles.

Blakemore said: “I believe PAVE is the digital future of vehicle inspections and this has been borne out during testing. Feedback has been incredibly positive, with many commenting on the simplicity, speed and ease of this. PAVE will offer convenience for the customer, saves time and money for the business and helps eliminate human error.”

It was originally conceived as a solution for OEMs and dealers, contract hire companies, rental operators and fleet managers and is fast gathering interest in the switch to digital remarketing – which was already underway but has been fast-tracked by the pandemic.

Blakemore continued: “Remarketers and dealerships have had to adapt, push through and survive the pandemic and PAVE offers such an opportunity to continue to operate efficiently.”

But PAVE is also gathering interest for a range of other applications – from providing a means for businesses to check the condition of grey fleet vehicles, to offering a way to remotely carry out walkaround checks on commercial vehicles prior to use; providing confirmations in both cases that vehicles are roadworthy without the need for individual inspectors. It can also be used by drivers to check end-of-fleet vehicles – helping to eliminate suspicion with external inspectors – or to triage vehicles in the event of an incident. The inspections can even be carried out by private individuals buying or selling used cars.

All inspections are founded on the idea of a transparent approach that treats the customer fairly, helping to eliminate any mistrust within the sector, and various payment plans are available, from one-off checks through to packages and tailored solutions.

PAVE is just one of a number of developments being offered by MJB, which is focused on giving tailor-made remarketing, refurbishment and retailing expertise within the automotive and fleet sectors.

“We can offer fleet and remarketing decision-makers the latest in automotive solutions; our IA-based real-time inspection software is just one example of how we can develop efficiencies and save them time and money,” Blakemore summed up.

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Written by Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for nearly 20 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day.

Natalie edits all the Fleet World websites and newsletters, and loves to hear about any latest industry news.

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