Cox Automotive announces two acquisitions, including a San Francisco-based company called Fyusion that is developing super-detailed, used-vehicle condition reports using 3-D computer vision and artificial intelligence for use in online, wholesale auto auctions.
The Fyusion acquisition is part of a general auto industry trend toward the use of high-tech imaging for vehicle condition reports, damage estimates and potentially the ability to predict failures that haven’t happened yet, based on images and even the sound of an existing vehicle.
Another company in that space is UVEye, an Israeli company that got its start creating technology to detect bombs and other contraband underneath vehicles. V.I.P. Auctions of Cummings, GA, says separately it is adding underbody and tire-inspection systems from UVEye that employ computer vision and artificial intelligence.
The other Cox acquisition is Indianapolis-based Dickinson Fleet Services, which has a fleet of more than 700 mobile repair units and 800 technicians (pictured below) to provide light repairs and maintenance for medium- and heavy-truck fleet customers.
Steve Rowley, Cox Automotive president, says Cox is looking to invest in its core light-vehicle automotive businesses such as wholesale auctions and retail dealership-management software; in adjacent businesses, such as fleets and heavy trucks; and potentially in new industries such as autonomous cars and ride-sharing.
“Fyusion and Dickinson really hit all three,” he says in a phone interview. The company isn’t disclosing acquisition prices.