TradeRev brings AI to its online car auctions

CARMEL, Ind.  - 

James Bond has “Q” for intelligence gadgetry.  

TradeRev, as it turns out, has “H.”

The online dealer-to-dealer auction platform said Monday it will launch H — a suite of artificial intelligence capabilities— at the NADA Show 2018 in Las Vegas later this week.

“TradeRev continues to push the boundaries of cloud computing to deliver a better, faster, smarter auction experience for dealers,” said Becca Polak, president of TradeRev and the chief legal officer for parent company KAR Auction Services, in a news release.

“And we’re already teaching H new capabilities, including how to auto-detect vehicle damage and even predict the severity and potential economic impact of that damage from vehicle images alone,” Polak said.

On display at NADA will be H’s automated condition report visualization tool that uses AI, several data and predictive analytics functions.

And the inspiration for the “H” name, you ask? Hopper. Grace Hopper.

A 1991 recipient of the National Medal of Technology, Hopper was a U.S. Navy rear admiral and a “trailblazer” in the world of computer programming.

In fact, she headed up the crew responsible for launching what is credited as the first compiler for computer languages, TradeRev said.

That would eventually lead to the Common Business Oriented Language, also known as “COBOL.”

“In a world of trendy tech-names, we wanted our AI to have meaning for our customers and our employees,” said Polak. “Grace Hopper was a true trailblazer and remains an inspiration for women in computing everywhere. Her drive and innovative spirit are characteristics shared and celebrated by all TradeRev employees.”

‘Auction intelligence’

TradeRev co-founder Mark Endras, who is also the chief innovation officer at KAR, says H is designed to be “hyper-focused ‘auction intelligence’ for dealers.”

This is accomplished via machine learning capabilities.

H was built by the machine learning and data science at TradeRev, and throughout the last few months, condition report data as well as thousands of images from KAR’s various marketplaces and service providers has been pumped into the platform.

“H’s machine learning instantaneously analyzes real-time mobile device camera video frames and systematically classifies them into standard condition report image categories,” Endras said. “In other words, dealers can now get a complete set of images in just seconds with increased accuracy, clarity and reliability of the resulting vehicle condition report.”

He added: “H isn’t some plug-and-play add-on; it’s an organic capability we developed over several years with meaningful input and testing from our dealer customers.”

Continued focus on data science, analytics 

The company also recently released TradeRev 4.0 in North America, providing dealers various data analytic and machine learning tools to make the auction experience easier. Among its capabilities are scheduled events for sellers, vehicle recommendations for buyers based on data and bid assist price predictability.

The launch of H and moves like this are part of a big emphasis the parent company KAR is placing on tech and analytics.

KAR announced in early February that it had purchased STRATIM, a mobility and fleet management software company.

It’s a move that gives KAR a strong foothold in the world of on-demand car- and ride-sharing services, urban commute providers and autonomous vehicles — a world in which many of KAR’s customers already take part.

Through real-time data and predictive analytics, STRATIM’s software digitizes fleet management and helps streamline operations for mobility service providers, KAR said in a news release announcing the purchase.

And last year, KAR purchased DRIVIN, in a move that gave the company a major boost on the data science and analytics front.

Editor's Note: See more from TradeRev at the , where it is a presenting sponsor, and the , where Polak will deliver the opening keynote. 



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