Amazon Partners with UVeye to Automate Inspections of Delivery Vehicles Using AI

Amazon has expanded its delivery fleet to include over 100,000 vehicles, with an additional 10,000 new electric vans from Rivian. However, the company is taking its vehicle inspection process to the next level by partnering with Israeli startup UVeye and implementing a new AI system. Originally developed to detect car bombs, this AI system will automate the inspections of Amazon’s delivery vehicles. The partnership will involve “hundreds of Amazon warehouses” in the U.S., Canada, Germany, and the U.K., where UVeye’s Automated Vehicle Inspection (AVI) system will be installed.

According to UVeye’s news announcement, AVI has already been rolled out and tested at select Amazon delivery stations in the U.S. The system saves time and enhances safety by detecting issues like tire damage and wear and tear on the vehicles. Tom Chempananical, Global Fleet Director at Amazon Logistics, states, “We can automate most of the inspection process at scale, reducing the time spent on inspections by DSPs and Delivery Associates. This ensures faster delivery of packages to customers while improving road safety.”

The Benefits for Fleet Owners and Amazon Partners

Amazon’s announcement has been met with enthusiasm from fleet owners like Bennett Hart, an Amazon Delivery Service Partner (DSP) and owner of logistics company Hart Road. In a comment on Amazon’s website, Hart explained, “The last thing I want is for something preventable to happen, like a tire blowing out because we missed an imperceptible defect during our morning inspection. This technology improves the safety of our fleet.”

The UVEye AVI scanning system is likened to MRI or CAT machines used in medical scans. However, due to the larger size of vehicles, UVeye has created a 17-foot-tall archway equipped with sensors. Vehicles drive under this archway at a speed of 5 miles-per-hour, allowing the system, known as Atlas, to perform a comprehensive 360-degree scan of the vehicle’s exterior. Additionally, UVeye’s Helios underbody scanner is installed on the floor to capture the undercarriage using upward-facing cameras.

The AI system swiftly provides a full-vehicle scan by stitching together scanned images from various vantage points, creating a 3D model. This model enables human inspectors to virtually inspect different parts flagged by the AI system before addressing them on the vehicle. UVeye’s sophisticated software can spot “hidden damage patterns” and identify issues that may be missed by human inspectors, such as “sidewall tears” in tires.

The Background and Success of UVeye

UVeye was founded in 2016 by Amir and Ohad Hever, who recognized the need for better scanning methods for security threats hidden under vehicles. Their inspiration struck while undergoing a vehicle inspection at a secure facility, where a guard used a mirror to look at the undercarriage. Amir Hever explained, “It took us a few months to put together an underbody scanner that vehicles drive over and – using computer vision and deep learning algorithms – could detect any modification to the undercarriage and flag anything that shouldn’t be under a car.”

After gaining positive coverage at CES 2019 and overcoming the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, UVeye expanded its operations to New Jersey and Ohio. Amazon is not the only major company to partner with UVeye; the startup has also collaborated with GM, Carmax, Hyundai, Volvo, and Toyota’s Tsusho division. In addition to exterior scans, they offer Apollo, a system that provides 360-degree interior scans and records engine noises for used car dealers.

This partnership between Amazon and UVeye is a welcome boost for Israeli AI and tech startups facing a difficult time due to the ongoing fight against Hamas. Many startups have had employees called up for military reserves following a major attack on Israeli civilians.

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