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Skoda sound analyser app can diagnose car problems by sound

By Tom Fraser, 09 Oct 2020 Car News

Skoda sound diagnosis

It sounds space-age, but Skoda’s new app can diagnoses a car with smartphone ease

Skoda is aiming to make diagnosing car issues easier with a smartphone app that can detect troubling engine sounds all by itself.

The Skoda Sound Analyser app was designed and created by the carmaker's software team to aid its mechanics in their duty to find and fix problems with cars. 

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It works by recording a snippet of audio from a running engine and compares the audio to a bank of stored sound patterns that indicate a specific problem.

If the application detects that something’s amiss, it’ll let the mechanic know where to look for issue. Skoda says it gets it right more than 90 percent of the time.

Recognised sounds include steering column problems, DSG gearbox clutch issues and failures of the air conditioning compressor.

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We wont bore you too much with the fine detail, but it’s able to spot a problem using artificial intelligence which converts the audio into a spectrogram visual representation. The app can then compare the peak/trough deviations and decide on a close match for the problem.

The idea behind the app is that it’ll mean less time a Skoda sits in the service centre which is a better outcome for consumer as well as busy service centres.

The technology is already being trialled in 14 countries and over 245 service centres helped to supply the problem sounds for comparison’s sake.

Skoda has also hinted at potentially fitting the analyser to its vehicles in the future - using sensors to listen to abnormalities and potentially diagnose problems before they actually become a problem.

Review: 2020 Skoda Karoq first drive

Further application of the tech would be to make it available to the general public to diagnose their own cars, but Skoda hasn’t explained how far they’ll release the technology just yet.

No word yet on how it's going to tackle issues with the carmaker's first EV, the Enyaq.