New Skoda app is Shazam for car faults

Published: 12 October 2020

► App is Shazam for tech gremlins
► Just for dealers at the moment
► Can detect ten issues, but more will be added

Skoda has revealed a new app that promises to diagnose technical faults just by hearing them. Called the Skoda Sound Analyser, it was put together by the brand’s in-house developers, and basically compares the live sound of a vehicle with a bank of pre-recorded ones. From there, it’s able to work out what’s wrong with the car. 

‘Sound Analyser is a prime example of the new opportunities digitalisation at ŠKODA can create, even in terms of after sales,’ said Stanislav Pekař, head of after sales at Skoda. ‘We will continue to consistently use artificial intelligence technologies to offer our customers an even more personalised service, thus enhancing the customer experience even further.’ 

What’s the catch?

Of course, it’ll only work for specific Skoda cars, and right now it can only diagnose around ten separate issues. On the plus side, those faults are varied; and include everything from an issue with a DSG auto ‘box, to a steering or air conditioning fault.  Skoda says the app also has a 90% success rate.  

The apps has been trialled in 14 different countries already, since June 2019, and there are plans to increase the amount of faults it can detect. As you’d expect, the apps ‘machine learning’ foundations mean that the more it’s used, the better it’ll get.  

Wait a minute...

Of course, the actual need for such a system is debatable. It’d be useful for owners looking to fix their own cars, but for dealers with OBD readers and other specialised equipment, the need is less pressing. According to Skoda, it could potentially reduce service time for customers… 

By Curtis Moldrich

CAR's online editor and racing-sim enthusiast