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May 2023

Used cars and artificial intelligence: will AI change purchasing decisions?

Simonluca Pini - Contributing Editor Sole 24 Ore

To ease the sale and purchase process for second-hand cars through the artificial intelligence. This is the aim of the joint project between the Prague Polytechnic and the EAG group – of which Carvago is part
Artificial intelligence plays a leading role in 2023. Starting from ChatGPT, a chatbot based on artificial intelligence and machine learning developed by OpenAI and capable of answering questions and holding a conversation with a human user, Artificial Intelligence is showing month after month its full potential to the general public. In the world of cars, artificial intelligence is already present in advanced autonomous driving systems: in the future it will also arrive in the used vehicle sector with the aim of simplifying sales and purchase operations.

Artificial intelligence and used cars
The project dedicated to artificial intelligence connected to used cars is the result of a collaboration between the Prague Polytechnic University (ČVUT) and companies such as the online marketplace Carvago.
In the context of the operational program "Enterprise and Innovation for Competitiveness (OP PIK)", the EAG group, of which Carvago is part, has therefore started a collaboration with the artificial intelligence experts of the Data Science Laboratory of the University Center for Energy Efficiency of Buildings (UCEEB) of ČVUT. Among the different applications, the ability of artificial intelligence to become a valid tool in processing large volumes of photos of used cars stands out. The system, in fact, can sort tens of thousands of images faster than ever before, categorizing them based on the exterior, interior or other parts of the car. Moreover, the AI ​​can recognize brand and model of the car and pinpoint the angle from which the image was taken. “The collaboration among ČVUT, the business sector and the transfer of scientific methods into practice is one of the three main areas of development of the university that enriches both sides,” emphasized Miroslav Čepek, Associate Professor at ČVUT, explaining the benefits of the project. “The company gets access to cutting-edge technologies that will help it developing  its business, while for ČVUT experts projects like this one represent an opportunity to transfer scientific knowledge into practical applications, therefore gaining experience with individual technologies in practical use. This holds true also in the field of artificial intelligence, where the correct functioning of most methods depends on the availability of large amounts of data. Getting it in a university environment is difficult, but for companies like Carvago, managing big data is a daily routine”.

The Artificial Intelligence decides the price
Among the most interesting information coming from this collaboration, the potential of algorithms to determine the price of cars based on type, age and equipment stands out. Thanks to the availability of a large set of advertisements from all over Europe, experts at the University of Prague were able to create an algorithm that determines the price of a specific car with an accuracy of around three percent. For popular brands like Skoda or Volkswagen, the accuracy is even higher. Furthermore, artificial intelligence will make it possible to analyze millions of car ads from all over Europe more quickly, guaranteeing certain information on the selected car.

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