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ŠKODA Smartphone App Diagnoses Faults By Listening To Cars

By Stephen Turvil | October 13, 2020

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ŠKODA smartphone app recognises faults by listening to noises from a car’s engine, transmission, steering, and air conditioning system.

ŠKODA Smartphone App Diagnoses Faults By Listening To Cars
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Remarkable! ŠKODA Sound Analyser is a new, revolutionary, smartphone app that diagnoses faults with your car by listening to it. It might therefore be helpful in a wide range of scenarios. It might, for example, enable a technician to confirm what work your vehicle requires in less time. This might minimise how long it is off the road. Let us therefore summarise how this new app works.

How the app works

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ŠKODA Sound Analyser records vehicle noises via the microphone in the technician’s smartphone. Engine noises, for example. It then compares the recording to a database that confirms what the engine sounds like when it is working perfectly. If the recording matches the database there is no reason to conclude there is a fault. The app then passes this information to the technician.

In contrast, if your engine sounds different to the database the app might decide there is a problem. Perhaps the engine is not running smoothly, for example. The software might then suggest the cause of the issue which makes life easier for the technician. This, in turn, might benefit you if the technician spends less time diagnosing the fault. You might get your vehicle fixed quicker.

ŠKODA Sound Analyser can do more than listen to engine noises. Further examples include the power steering system (that makes it easier to turn the wheel), the air conditioning compressor (that pumps the refrigerant that cools the cabin, and clutches in the automatic transmission (that help it change gear).

ŠKODA summarised its new software. ‘The app works by converting the audio file into a spectrogram that visually depicts the acoustic signals. Using artificial intelligence, this representation is then compared with the stored recordings to identify deviations. The app then categorises the potential need for upcoming maintenance or repairs based on predetermined patterns’, the company added.

Successful trial

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ŠKODA Sound Analyser has been trialled in 14 countries such as: Germany, Austria, France, and Russia since June 2019. Nearly 250 dealerships took part and were ‘instrumental in providing the audio recordings for the software’s learning process’, the manufacturer said. It is more than ‘90% accurate’ and expected to recognise a wider range of noises (and therefore faults) in the future.

ŠKODA Head of Aftersales, Stanislav Pekař, said: ‘Sound Analyser is a prime example of the new opportunities digitalisation can create – even in terms of aftersales. We will continue to consistently use artificial intelligence technologies to offer our customers a more personalised service’, he concluded.

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