13 Jun
Want Safer Cars? Lend Them Ears Want Safer Cars? Lend Them Ears

Want Safer Cars? Lend Them Ears

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A startup known as OtoSense is collaborating with leading auto manufacturers on software that might provide cars with a sense of "hearing" that could troubleshoot problems before they morph into overly expensive fixes.

The software could also prove useful to drivers, picking up on nearby emergency-vehicle sirens as well as sounds that indicate changes in the quality of road surfaces.

So far, the machine-learning software can already ID certain noises that correspond to changes in an automobile's engine and brakes.

OtoSense is also developing a project called AutoHound -- a tablet app that provides auto techs and car owners alike with the capability of recording certain sounds for eventual playback and, it is hoped, successful diagnosis of the trouble behind them.

If successful, the app might eliminate the awkward exchanges, including gazes of stupefied wonderment, where drivers attempt to replicate sounds that their cars make so that mechanics might gain a better grasp of the problem at hand.

MIT Technology Review reports that OtoSense currently enjoys a 95% success rate when it comes to diagnosing problems with HVAC systems, wheels, and engines.

The whole project is aimed at quicker, less costly repairs and, ultimately, greater customer satisfaction.

Guillaume Catusseau, who works in the R&D department of French automaker PSA, says, “Buzz, squeak, or rattle is a great concern for car owners. The customer will perceive the vehicle as being of low quality, [and] this can affect repurchase intent.”

The CEO of OtoSense says that his company's software could be integrated into new cars to detect problems that the car's automatic sensors otherwise wouldn't.

In any event, the tech looks to be ready for market soon after it proves successful in testing.

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Read 1115 times Last modified on Thursday, 01 June 2017 03:12
Jim Lillie

Jim began writing for newspapers and designing for publishing companies at a time when both industries were just beginning to make the switch from manual to digital platforms. Jim lives in Boulder, Colorado with his teenage son.

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