Automated vehicle inspection systems startup UVeye Inc. said today it has closed a $100 million funding round led by Hanaco VC.
The Series D round, which also featured existing investors GM Ventures, CarMax, WR Berkley Corporation, FIT Ventures LP, and various Israeli institutional investors, brings the total amount raised by the company to date to nearly $200 million.
UVeye is the creator of a drive-through system that employs artificial intelligence, machine learning, and sensor fusion technologies to detect exterior and mechanical defects under or on the sides of any vehicle in seconds. It can also detect other anomalies, such as modifications and foreign bodies that could cause problems for the vehicle.
The startup explains that such a system is needed because electronic and autonomous vehicles are becoming more complex. For companies that manage fleets of such vehicles, the ability to perform low-cost, high-frequency predictive maintenance will become invaluable, he says.
Amir Hever, co-founder and managing director of UVeyes, said his goal is to standardize how the automotive industry detects damage and mechanical problems on vehicles and set new quality standards. Our patent-protected technology provides automakers, dealerships and fleet operators with unmatched solutions for quickly and accurately identifying vehicle problems, he said.
UVeye has built three unique high-speed vehicle inspection systems that can be installed at fleet headquarters, new and used car dealerships, auction houses, and even assembly lines. Helios is an underbody scanner that can detect problems such as chassis damage, missing parts, fluid leaks, and brake and exhaust system problems.
Artemis checks the quality of vehicle tires and can identify brand, technical specification, air pressure, tread depth, sidewall damage and other problems, such as misalignment, in seconds. As for Atlas, it’s a 360-degree vehicle exterior sensing system that monitors sheet metal bodywork and components such as door locks, bumpers, grilles, and windows.
Analyst Holger Mueller of Constellation Research Inc. said that UVeye has found an innovative new use case for AI. “We know from healthcare and other industries that AI-powered machines are better than humans at recognizing images and spotting anomalies that could indicate problems,” he explained. “The AI runs more consistently and doesn’t need to take a break. It will be interesting to see what the cost of these proactive inspections and required maintenance is, because we all rely on vehicles.”
UVeye is headquartered in Teaneck, New Jersey, and Tel Aviv, Israel, and has numerous facilities spread across North America, Europe, and the Asia-Pacific region. Funds from today’s round will help it start production of its UVeye inspection systems in North America and fuel its market expansion efforts.
The company says it has already launched several major programs in the United States with more than 5,000 auto dealerships, auto auction providers, and fleets. They include commercial agreements with automakers such as General Motors Co., Volvo Car Corp. and CarMax Inc. Hever said all of these partners plan to integrate UVeyes inspection systems within their broader networks.
[They] it will lead to the installation of thousands of new UVeye inspection systems within the next two to three years and generate an exponential increase in sales, he said.
Lior Prosor, partner at Hanaco VC, said he is a strong believer in the need for automated vehicle inspection technology and said he has spent 24 months searching for the right player to prop up this emerging market. Automated vehicle inspection enabled by advanced computer vision and artificial intelligence is in its early innings, but it will completely transform the auto industry, he predicted.
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