Ann Arbor technology company Ubiquiti Inc
. has provided technology for a new app, CarBeast
, that uses artificial intelligence to diagnose car problems and predict car repairs.
"This is an exciting effort because it uses data-driven real-world information that is available on repairs for cars," says Nandit Soparkar, a manager for the new app. "It learns from available data and is able to forecast challenges for a car that you might own, giving you a look at possible future repairs or general maintenance needs."
The new effort uses the technologies and capabilities of Ubiquiti Inc., a 22-year-old company that boasts customers from across the globe. While there are similar apps on the market, Soparkar says they fall short compared to CarBeast.
"You can find other apps that provide some information on similar services, but they don't necessarily use real large amounts of data, which is essential to driving this technology," he says. "It sounds grand, but with our technology we're able to do what nobody else on the planet can do, which is extract detailed information from millions of write-ups and repair orders from technicians."
CarBeast consists of two applications: CarBeast Insight
, which suggests fixes for ongoing car issues, and CarBeast Foresight
, which predicts repairs that the user's car may need. Soparkar compares CarBeast to CarFax
, which gives consumers information about what has happened to a vehicle in the past. He says people can think of CarBeast "like a converse, or better aspect, of that tool," because it makes predictions about future repair needs based on sophisticated data models.
Soparkar also compares the app to WebMD
, but for cars. CarBeast users can speak directly into their phones and describe the car problem they're experiencing. The app will use that information to try to identify the issue and provide possible solutions based on information from other vehicles that had similar issues. The app will also guide users to technicians in their area.
"If you go to a doctor they'll use all their experience from books and research and knowledge from other patients with similar conditions, then take everything they know and apply it to your very specific problem. CarBeast works in pretty much the same way," Soparkar says.
Consumers can use the app's information as a secondary opinion.
"Imagine a mechanic says that you might need to change your car's alternator, and surprise, it's going to cost you $600," Soparkar says. "Instead of spending time and money going around getting another opinion, you can fire up the app and get additional solid, data-driven information right there and then."
Jaishree Drepaul-Bruder is a freelance writer and editor currently based in Ann Arbor. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.