Skoda app diagnoses faults by listening to engine noise

Engineers at Czech car maker Skoda have developed and trialled a smartphone app that is able to diagnose faults by listening to a car’s engine noise

Dubbed the Skoda Sound Analyser, the AI based app is claimed to be so sensitive that it can recognise even the smallest irregularity in the engine sound and can suggest a range of service measures that might be needed.

Skoda app
Skoda’s engine noise app has been undergoing trials since 2019

The technology works by recording noises made by the vehicle while it is running and converting this audio file into a spectrogram that visually depicts the acoustic signals. This representation is then compared the stored recordings to identify deviations. In the event of any discrepancies, the app uses an algorithm to determine what they are and how they can be resolved.

According to Skoda, the software is already able to recognise ten patterns – with an accuracy of over 90 per cent – including for components such as the steering system, the air conditioning compressor, and the clutches in the direct-shift gearbox (DSG).

The app has been undergoing trials in 14 countries – including Germany, Russia, Austria and France – since June 2019, with a total of 245 Skoda dealers have been taking part in the pilot project. They have been instrumental in providing the audio recordings for the software’s ‘learning process’ and have directly contributed to the app’s development.

Stanislav Pekař, Head of After Sales at Skoda Auto said, “Sound Analyser is a prime example of the new opportunities digitalisation at Skoda can create, even in terms of after sales. We will continue to consistently use artificial intelligence technologies to offer our customers an even more personalised service, thus enhancing the customer experience even further.”