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V.I.P. Auctions Introduces Auto-Inspection Technology

V.I.P. Auctions will be one of the first vehicle auction companies in the world to use automated vehicle-inspection systems to evaluate tires and critical underbody components for the inspection of used vehicles.

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Jim Smith, founder and CEO of V.I.P. Auctions, said the company’s new camera-based artificial-intelligence technology will save time, reduce costs, document vehicle condition and also set new inspection standards for the automotive remarketing industry.

V.I.P Auctions founder Jim Smith explains UVeye’s inspection system to a customer.

Developed by UVeye, the underbody and tire-inspection systems are scheduled for installation at V.I.P. Auctions in Cumming, GA, later this month. The technology was originally unveiled for the first time in North America at the 2020 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.

USS, one of the world’s largest car-auction groups, recently installed similar UVeye inspection equipment at its facilities in Japan. Based in Nagoya, USS has 19 sites and handles more than 3 million vehicle sales a year.

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The UVeye Helios and Artemis inspection systems being installed at V.I.P. Auctions rely on a unique combination of proprietary algorithms, cloud architecture, sensor fusion, artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies. 

The Helios underbody-inspection system uses multiple high-resolution cameras to generate thousands of images per second to identify damage, missing components and other quality-related issues to support technicians and inspectors. This automation allows inspectors to focus on critical items instead of items that do not need attention.

Artemis, UVeye’s tire-quality system, is designed to check a tire’s overall condition, including tire pressure, tread depth, wheel scratches, sidewall damage, abrasions and outside shoulder damage. It can read and recognize a tire’s brand, size-load speed ratings and DOT nomenclature within seconds.

“Helios and Artemis will be key elements in establishing future standards related to certainty and transparency for vehicle inspections, not only at vehicle auctions, but also at dealerships, fleets and independent service garages,” said Glenn Hemminger, managing director for UVeye’s North American operations. “These software-focused solutions allow us to continually add new inspection features without the need to add hardware.”

Founded more than 15 years ago by Smith, V.I.P. Auctions is located near Atlanta and serves franchised new-car dealerships, commercial fleets and lending institutions in the southeastern United States.

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“Our team at V.I.P. is excited about this new venture with UVeye for the launch of automated vehicle-inspection systems in the United States,” said Smith. “There always have been two major areas missing from vehicle-condition reports provided to auction customers — detailed evaluations of a vehicle’s underbody and its tires. Helios and Artemis will solve that problem by clearly documenting with certainty the condition of each vehicle’s tires and undercarriage.”

Smith pointed out that nothing tells an owner or end-user more about a vehicle’s actual condition than its underbody. Unusual rust, leaks, cracks, missing parts, modifications and other discrepancies all show up on a Helios scan. He added that the condition of a vehicle’s tires and wheels can affect its value by up to several thousand dollars.

He explained that V.I.P. customers now will receive industry-first documentation for the condition of each vehicle’s underbody and tires, including images of the vehicle’s undercarriage and tires with trouble areas clearly marked.

The new UVeye inspections take just seconds to complete compared to up to 20 minutes or more for manual inspection processes that can miss a variety of items.

“We expect this new, industry-leading inspection technology will have a major impact on customer satisfaction and result in a significant increase in sales and service over the next 12 months,” Smith said. “We’re looking forward to partnering with UVeye as the company introduces its breakthrough technology to automakers, dealerships and major fleet operators in the United States.”

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Additional information is available at www.uveye.com.

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