Cox Automotive

Automotive Damage Detection Mobile App


Auto auctions across the country rely on inspectors to look at vehicles and determine the value based on year, make, model, and condition. However, the human eye can lead to inconsistent results when it scales to hundreds of locations across the country. We worked with Cox Automotive to find a way to make these results more consistent.

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The Problem

With each new inspector, comes another opportunity for subjective failure. Without standardized training and very clear quantifiable metrics, our client found it very difficult for humans in different places to land on the same value for a vehicle.

Our Solution

“Our solution was two-fold. We first proposed a versatile damage detection mobile app capable of inspecting vehicles in many different environmental conditions. We used React Native to build this hybrid mobile app that allowed inspectors to use either iOS or Android devices. Our team leveraged augmented reality and computer vision to look at the automobile’s body panels and determine if any perceived damage could be repaired or if it needed to be replaced. Based on those decisions, each unique vehicle resulted in a unique and consistent value.

The second solution was a portable inspection tent prototype concept that could be easily set up to create a controlled environment regardless of location. To accomplish this, we imagined a swing-arm-mounted lidar to compare the scanned vehicle with the manufacturer-supplied stock 3D model. The output of this solution was a computer animation showing a vehicle driving into our custom tent, getting scanned, then driving out in under five minutes.”


We worked closely with our client to understand the team’s requirements. In this case, our mission was to find ways to create more consistent results. We identified quickly that mobile apps in uncontrolled environments would inevitably create discrepancies based on changing light and inconsistent devices. While both solutions were prototypes, they helped pave the way for this initiative to springboard internal teams to create further innovative solutions.

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