Singapore car owners looking to sell their vehicle can now get an estimate of its value in just seconds. Online car marketplace UCARS has built an AI valuation tool to give potential sellers greater transparency and assurance.

Shopping has shifted online worldwide. The automotive industry traditionally depended on face-to-face interactions to close deals, but UCARS is ready to embrace digital services. “We are confident that by building a strong core in the area of deep tech, we will be able to power future growth in the automotive industry in a post-Covid world,” said Cho Kok Yick, Chief Technology Officer at UCARS.

Here’s how UCARS is improving its services with tech, with the support of Huawei.

AI valuation

UCARS’s AI valuation tool estimates a car’s value in seconds, when it usually takes at least a day. This is the first instant AI car valuation tool in Southeast Asia.

A car valuation is an estimate of how much dealers will buy a used car for. Owners can then decide to sell or scrap their vehicle. Over the past month, more than 300 customers have used UCARS’s AI tool.

Car owners can now expect to sell their vehicles to dealers in three days at the highest prices.
UCARS is working to improve this algorithm using HUAWEI CLOUD so the accuracy of the estimation improves with each use.

The startup is also working on a car image search engine. This would use machine vision to identify a car’s model from images, so customers can easily find the specific vehicle they’re looking for.

“We want to make the second-hand car selling process as safe and as easy as possible, this is why we continuously invest in AI technologies,” said Cho.

Building trust

The automotive industry is fraught with inefficient operating processes. The lack of transparency makes it difficult to build customers’ trust.

UCARS developed a built-in chat system to tackle this. The platform allows customers to chat with dealers without revealing personal contact information.

The startup has also moved its systems onto HUAWEI CLOUD. The platform has since become more stable and secure, and can handle a lot more data, Cho shared.

Supporting startups

UCARS used ModelArts, Huawei’s AI platform, to build its AI tools. The tech giant has been partnering with local startups such as UCARS to help them use tech such as 5G, AI, IoT and analytics.

UCARS is one of the five finalists in Huawei Spark 2020, a hybrid accelerator programme launched by Huawei for deep tech startups. The programme is in partnership with Enterprise Singapore and Startup SG, and offers free cloud resources for firms to develop their own applications.

“This is a really exciting time, where we see more companies harness the power of AI to change the way they do business. Huawei is excited to embark on this journey with UCARS to help digitalise and deepen consumer trust in the automotive industry as well as to improve the customer journey and experience,” said Nicholas Ma, Chief Executive Officer of Huawei International.

The digital economy will be an essential part of Singapore’s post-Covid recovery, according to the Minister of Communications and Information S. Iswaran. As the nation moves towards digitalisation, startups and businesses will have to follow.