An Israeli technology initially created to detect bombs and explosives strapped to cars has been modified to help detect whether drivers and passengers in a vehicle have a fever, thus providing an important heads up to health professionals that someone in the car may be ill and need additional testing for COVID-19.
The disease’s most common symptoms include a high fever, cough, fatigue, and difficulty breathing.
Tel Aviv-based UVeye, the company behind the homeland security tech which it then adapted for “smart” vehicle inspection systems, says its hands-free, drive-through inspection capabilities give emergency services personnel added support.
The technology ensures that people outside the vehicle “are not exposed to individuals that still might be infected with the virus,” says Amir Hever, UVeye’s founder and CEO.
The emergency-vehicle inspection systems are equipped with thermal sensors that both detect critical vehicle-safety problems and identify car occupants with fevers through the windshield.
UVeye has put a call out to equip health-related fleet operators with vehicle-inspection equipment on a not-for-profit basis during the current COVID-19 crisis. The company says ambulance and police fleets, as well as delivery services for food and medical equipment, are eligible.
“Our technology can help fleet operators maintain their vehicles in safe operating condition without the need for ‘hands on’ testing or inspection,” explains Hever.
Hever says vehicle-inspection systems equipped with thermal sensors, for example, could be installed at emergency drive-through lanes set up at hospitals, health care facilities and other community locations to test for potential coronavirus victims.
UVeye says it is prepared to help equip drive-through checkpoints in critical locations throughout the United States upon demand, adding that it already has orders for the installation of contactless inspection systems with thermal sensor technology at several locations in both the UK and the US.
The company uses its expertise in machine-learning, artificial intelligence, algorithm development and camera technology to solve safety and quality-related challenges within the automotive industry. It believes these same technologies can be of assistance in the Coronavirus arena.
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“The COVID-19 crisis emphasizes how important contactless and automatic inspection actually are and we believe artificial intelligence will play a vital part in finding solutions against the virus,” Yaron Saghiv, VP Marketing, tells NoCamels. “We have adapted our systems to assist delivery, food, medicine and emergency fleets while also providing a drive-through solution for automotive repair shops that will want to keep their mechanics safe.”
UVeye says its vehicle-inspection technology could also assist federal, state and local government officials who are attempting to speed up the process of identifying people infected by the COVID-19 virus.
“It seems like the coronavirus is going to be around for a while and we decided to equip vehicle repair shops and dealers with not only an accurate and automatic way to inspect cars but also a much safer way,” Hever tells NoCamels. “Thinking about the mid- and long-term scenarios, businesses in the automotive industry using our systems will be able to take all measurements to asses if their customers are showing any critical symptoms and keep their staff safe.”
These Israeli-made vehicle-inspection systems are equipped with infrared thermal-imaging technology to detect body temperatures from several meters.
Founded in 2016, UVeye is globally known for the development of AI systems to identify threats at security checkpoints and border crossings, as well as detect vehicle quality issues at dealerships and on new-car assembly lines. Its deep-learning technology is deployed globally at hundreds of high-security locations to help detect weapons, explosives, illegal drugs and other contraband.
UVeye also has a name in the automobile sector. The company’s Atlas and Helios vehicle-inspection technology was shown for the first time in North America earlier this year at CES 2020 in Las Vegas. In addition to its own exhibit, UVeye’s technology also was featured in Honda’s CES display as part of the car company’s Xcelerator program designed to encourage new and transformative technology.
It counts top automobile companies like Toyota, Volvo, Skoda and Daimler among its strategic partners and is presently working with six major car makers to install vehicle-inspection systems on assembly lines and at dealerships around the world.
Viva Sarah Press is a journalist and speaker. She writes and talks about the creativity and innovation taking place in Israel and beyond. www.vivaspress.com