New Skoda app uses sound to check car health

Skoda has developed an app that can ‘listen’ to car noises and help technicians to diagnose problems from the sound patterns produced.

The Skoda Sound Analyser, designed and developed by Skoda’s software team, records engine sounds – and those of other devices such as air conditioning units – and compares them to stored sound patterns.

If the sounds are abnormal, the app uses an algorithm to work out the problem, giving an “instant diagnosis” to technicians and reducing the length of time the car needs to be off the road, Skoda says.

The app is currently able to recognise 10 different types of sounds, such as those made by the steering system, air conditioning, and a DSG gearbox. Skoda is in the process of adding more sound patterns to the app’s database, which will also be expanded to include other service items.

The app has been trialled in 14 countries including Germany, Russian, Austria and France since June 2019, with 245 Skoda dealers taking part, and has a 90% success rate for diagnosing problems, according to Skoda. So far, the system is only compatible with Skoda’s own models.

Skoda aftersales boss Stanislav Pekař said: “Sound Analyser is a prime example of the new opportunities digitalisation at Skoda 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.”

Skoda aims to roll out the app to its technicians at an unspecified future date. However, a spokesperson stressed that the project is “in its pilot stage” and that further trials are needed before the technology is officially introduced.

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