A.I. and the Art of Car Inspections

A.I. and the Art of Car Inspections

Anybody who knows me knows how much I love technology. As a kid in the 1980s, I was pulling apart computers and trading up for the next best Walkman model. Technology and top-shelf programming helped launch Lemon Squad into the national company it is today.

And Artificial Intelligence? Yeah, it fascinates me.

Personally, I’ve been dabbling with AI to help me write poems and stuff. It’s kind of fun. And people are making some amazing artwork with AI. Though it takes out the intuition and spontaneity of human creation.

What about AI with Lemon Squad? Will there ever be a time when AI can complete a car inspection, completely independent of people? 

Well, we’re already using AI to help create the inspector’s reports. Right now, when we get a request from a client for a pre-purchase inspection, our inspector goes to the car and performs a detailed, complete and thorough inspection. They write all the information in a report. But as you can imagine, those reports can be pretty technical, and written from a mechanic’s point of view, in highly technical language. Plus, mechanics nationwide have been trained to write vehicle reports via a national system that requires ALL CAPs and choppy info. The report needs to be translated so the customer can receive and understand the information. That’s where AI comes in – it deciphers the information and writes the report for customers in a way that can be read and interpreted by anyone. BUT – and this is a big one – we still need to go in and review each report and finesse it so that it’s completely accurate. AI does not fix everything. 

In the future, for Lemon Squad, we might be able to use AI to help with the inspections, filming the car, reviewing the film and spotting potential issues, then recording the information. 

However, just like poetry and visual art, there’s a limit to the intuitive nature of AI. There’s a real art to inspecting a vehicle. The technician brings all their experience and training and gut-level reactions to a vehicle. They listen to the engine running, test drive it, experience it on a visceral level. We who love vehicles know that every one of them has their own personality – and a well-trained human technician is the only one able to get a sense of just what that personality is.

So yeah, I love technology. AI is super cool. Lemon Squad is already using it, and will continue to find ways to implement it to better serve our clients. 

But the art of inspecting a vehicle? That takes a very personal, human touch.

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