TÜV SÜD is using artificial intelligence (AI) to bring fresh impetus to the vehicle remarketing industry. “Mic” (Move In Circles) is the name given to a robot that can take high-quality 360-degree pictures of vehicle exteriors fully automatically. In addition, the system optimises the photo documentation workflows in used vehicle management processes. Once taken, photos can be edited by Mic’s AI technology, which centres the vehicle in the shot and stabilises the image. Photos for remarketing used vehicles can be taken fast and flexibly with regard to location, eliminating the need for any major infrastructure and thus streamlining costs. In future Mic will form the core of PhotoFairy 360°, a service provided by TÜV SÜD to support professional marketing at car dealerships. Mic will debut at TÜV SÜD’s IAA Press Conference on 11 September. But remarketing is just one of the many topics presented by TÜV SÜD at the 2019 IAA, held from 10 to 13 September in Frankfurt am Main. Further subjects featured at the company’s stand in Hall 4.1 include highly automated driving (HAD), global market access, intermodal mobility and battery testing.
“Photos of vehicles posted on the Internet by dealerships create a first impression and can strongly influence potential used-car customers. The more details that are supplied, the better”, explains Michael Hüttinger, Business Development Manager at TÜV SÜD. To improve the support available to customers in this area, the experts from TÜV SÜD have automated the photographic process. Before taking a photo, Mic instructs the driver on how to position the vehicle for the best result. The mobile robot then leaves its parked position and circles the vehicle, filming as it goes, to produce high-resolution images in a fully automated process. The robot’s artificial intelligence systems enable it to continuously correct its position. During filming the data are transmitted in real time for photo editing, including image stabilisation.
The benefits of this fully automated process are obvious; it speeds up creation of the photos while delivering consistent high quality. As soon as the vehicle has been filmed it can be driven away and Mic immediately begins photographing the next one. Michael Hüttinger points out, “Large-scale dealerships with high vehicle turnover in areas such as leasing returns can rely on Mic for fast, stable workflows, which provides process reliability and saves costs.” A further advantage of Mic is its mobility; the robot is quick and easy to use at any location.
Editing to customer specifications
The 360-degree images supplied by Mic are combined with panoramic interior footage in PhotoFairy 360° and can be edited in line with the customer’s specifications. As well as the robot’s automatic images, services offered by PhotoFairy 360° include the ability to silhouette the photographed vehicles against neutral or custom backgrounds in classic PhotoFairy 360° shots – for example, if the vehicle is to be presented in the dealership’s corporate design.
Further information on TÜV SÜD's IAA presence is available at www.tuev-sued.de/iaa-press.
Press-contact: Vincenzo Lucà