AI Startups Making Inroads into Car Rental Industry
Amsterdam conference highlights demonstrate the lowdown on car high-tech
To the most casual observer, the most perceived applications of artificial intelligence range from robotics to security. However at last week’s World Summit AI conference in Amsterdam, a number of high-tech players found other areas where the technology could be implemented, including the car rental industry.
It’s not hard to see why. The car rental industry was recently estimated to be worth roughly $60 billion internationally, with enough resources for some adventurous AI players to risk with hopes of realizing a return down the road. With AI now being a leading element in autonomous vehicles becoming roadworthy a few years from now, it’s only a matter of time before these self-driving autos become part of any car rental’s fleet.
In the meantime, automating vehicle inspections to ease insurance assessments and gauge the state of a rental vehicle is where much of AI technology is getting involved, when it comes to car rentals. France-based Proovstation made its presence known at the conference with a state-of-the-art drive-through automobile bay that can create 360-degree scans in less than three seconds, exponentially faster than if a human crew were to perform the same function. Feedback on vehicular damage is almost instantaneous, speeding up the process for determining repairs and providing information to make insurance claims get completed faster.
As a relatively new player, Proovstation joins a growing and competitive AI inspection industry that includes the likes of Entegral, UVeye and Ravin. But chances are, AI inspection companies won’t limit their reach to car rentals, as automakers, dealerships, shipping fleets and other transportation-reliant sectors are other candidates for such technology.
Expect major car rentals like Enterprise, Avis and Budget who have relied a great deal on branding to keep their eyes focused on other AI innovations geared towards the marketing end of things. Combining machine learning, neuropsychology and an emerging wave dubbed natural language processing, Germany’s Neuro Flash can meld all those disciplines into an innovation that can use mountains of data to determine what’s on the minds of consumers. Company movers and shakers declare that its mind machine can use all that info to predict exactly what customers are thinking when it comes to branding.
Consumers are also thinking a lot about climate change, which is where U.K. startup EmitWise comes in. Although the company only started earlier this year, it’s already turning heads with a project that can analyze and determine a company’s carbon footprint by examining all documents in an operation’s paper trail and pinpoint areas where emissions can be sharply reduced.
In short, the conference proved that if an object has wheels and blows smoke, it’s definitely worthy of AI attention.