The “Sound Analyser” app uses artificial intelligence to reliably, clearly and quickly assess the current condition of wearing parts and notify technicians of any required servicing. For this purpose, the program considers various vehicle-specific parameters and analyses the usage profile of the respective car. To this end, Sound Analyser makes it even easier for technicians to perform accurate diagnostics on a vehicle as they will only need a standard smartphone or tablet to use the app.
Although the program is highly complex, its operation is intuitive: the sounds made whilst the vehicle is running can be recorded using a smartphone. An algorithm then compares the recording with stored sound patterns and, based on this, provides a concrete description of the result. The software is already able to recognise ten patterns – with an accuracy of over 90 percent – including for components such as the steering system, the air conditioning compressor, and the clutches in the direct-shift gearbox (DSG). The app is also set up to recognise further sound patterns.
Neural network algorithms provide the technical basis for “Sound Analyser”. The app first converts 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. To this end, the app categorises the potential need for upcoming maintenance or repairs based on predetermined patterns.
The smartphone app has been trialled in 14 countries – including Germany, Russia, Austria and France – since June 2019. A total of 245 ŠKODA dealers have been taking part in the pilot project.