AI
Future Trends

Artificial Intelligence: The Next Wave of Opportunity for the Auto Sales Industry

Artificial intelligence is already transforming the way that cars are serviced, and also has the potential to revolutionize the way that cars are bought and sold.

For the last hundred years, the automobile industry has been at the forefront of change and innovation. The Model T was the poster child for the Technological Industrial Revolution, making use of the best elements of internal combustion engines and advancements in manufacturing.  In the Digital Revolution, cars became the largest digital devices on wheels, creating a whole new spectrum of IoT possibilities for consumers and manufacturers.

Now, as we enter the next phase of the industrial revolution (which many pundits assert will be the biggest of all), the auto industry is once again undergoing rapid evolution and tremendous change. Many of the technologies people dreamed of in the 1950s and 1960s have now become a reality:  Robots, autonomous cars, nanotechnology, machine learning, miniaturized sensors, 3D printing, and more. These technologies are serving as a catalyst to evolve “automotive” to personal and business “mobility” solutions.

With Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning, we are already seeing new business opportunities for disruptive services and technologies in the automotive industry.  One of the key emerging trends is the use of new technical solutions that use AI and predictive analytics designed to proactively diagnose potential issues. Predictive maintenance systems enable car owners to service their cars proactively, which drastically reduces mechanical failures.

 

Can AI help sell cars and keep customers coming back? 

Historically, auto dealers and their associated mechanics have had relatively little inspection time and few insights into a specific vehicle’s history and current condition. Also, there has been almost no way of having the knowledge of predictive maintenance for a specific vehicle make, model and year. When Carfax was introduced, it gave auto dealers and buyers important insights into a specific vehicle’s history of repairs and number of owners.  But vehicle history data lacks the ability to inform the buyer of what issues may arise down the road with each vehicle. Even if the vehicle has been maintained regularly it does not mean that no issues are present and the fact that at the time of an oil change the previous owner of the vehicle was notified of a leak does not mean they chose to fix it.

With today’s AI-powered platform insights, it is now possible to anticipate vehicle issues proactively and apply preventative maintenance for each specific vehicle. Using an advanced AI-powered inspection and maintenance platform, the technician inspects the car and recommends necessary repairs.  The car owner can view the report and make an informed choice about the vehicle, secure in the knowledge that the technician is being transparent about their recommendations.

When predictive technology is used for pre-purchase inspections it increases the likelihood of finding any issues and increases confidence in the sale and the purchase.  Even after the vehicle is purchased from the dealer, the customer is able to access the typical anticipated issues with the vehicle to stay ahead of any major issues that might arise.

But perhaps, most importantly, providing this kind of transparency helps to build trust, which has arguably been quite low in the used car buying process because most people have had very little visibility into the actual condition of the car.  Now, progressive, honest dealers can use AI-based platforms to create higher levels of transparency and confidence with their customers.

According to a study by SalesFuel, an independent research firm, “59% of survey respondents said dealership reputation was the most important factor when choosing which dealership to visit.” Great customer experiences drive dealership reputation. The study also found that auto shoppers are willing to pay more for an exceptional experience. Not only are customer confidence and dealership reputation impacted, but also the bottom line on sales margins themselves.

“We strive to provide excellent vehicles, great customer service and transparency to our customers, so we focus heavily on making sure that the vehicles we sell are safe and in great condition. We know we are doing the right thing because our customers come back to us for every vehicle they buy,” said Ben Ahmedov, CEO of Rolling Motors. “Using an AI-driven platform also allows us to spend less time reconditioning cars, and more time matching our vehicles with qualified buyers.”

Future technological advances in the auto industry represent an opportunity to deliver a greater level of transparency and customer confidence for dealerships. As the market becomes more competitive, it will become even more crucial for dealers to use any advantage they can to retain the best customer relationships. Providing the highest amount of historical and predictive detail on a vehicle purchase not only gives the insights for a confident sale process but also gives the consumer a sense of trustworthiness that builds dealer/ buyer relationships.

 

Leo Sigal Biography

Leo is a successful technologist with almost two decades of experience building innovative technology products..  He currently serves as Founder and CEO of Driveroo, the 1st proactive auto care service platform to provide predictive analysis of potential maintenance issues for each vehicle. Driveroo uses Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning to examine millions of data points to determine the likelihood of specific maintenance issues, based on the type of car and its specific history.  Prior to Driveroo, Leo served as CTO for Model N and Selectica, and held senior engineering and technology positions at Software AG and eVite.  He is committed to advancing the thought leadership around utilizing AI and machine learning to improve safety and convenience and believes that the auto industry is on the verge of a seismic change.

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