In the innovation process, R&D is essentially an investment in technology and future capabilities which is then transformed into new products, processes, and services. Understanding this, Acerta Analytics Solutions Inc headquartered at Kitchener, Canada has transformed the automotive industry and became a reputable and trusted leader in machine analytics and predictive technology.
In an interview with Insights success Greta Cutulenco, CEO of Acerta shares some insightful answers on how the company is ensuring quality throughout the vehicle life.
Give a brief overview of the company, its solutions and services?
At Acerta we developed a platform that uses machine learning and AI to detect malfunctions and predict failures in real-time for vehicles and their systems (e.g. engines, transmissions, batteries). Acerta is a unique platform in that it is able to leverage the data from across the vehicle lifecycle, starting from development and testing, to manufacturing and on-road driving. We are thus ensuring quality throughout the vehicle life.
We have started making an impact for manufacturers today by applying our platform and analysis during assembly. In our most recent deployment we were able to reduce warranties by 30% by identifying complex patterns in testing data that were indicative of defects. We also saved the engineers from having to inspect 4,000 plots per failure – our models automatically identified just 10 that engineers used for troubleshooting.
Our recent projects with autonomous vehicle manufacturers are also already bearing fruits! We are introducing important safety features for braking and steering, as well as passenger comfort features
How do you diversify Automotive Tech solutions so that it will benefit your customers?
We provide a number of solutions that fit the customer diverse needs and current readiness for digitalization. For customers that are just getting started with digitalization and AI, we provide Acerta Cortex, which is a data governance platform that helps the manufacturer aggregate and structure data in a way that facilitates discoverability and AI analytics. We also provide LinePulse for analytics during manufacturing of vehicle components, and support major vehicle systems, including engines, transmissions, gearboxes, differentials, electric pumps, etc. We also provide analysis solutions for on-road vehicles and vehicle fleets.
- Describe the experiences, achievements or lessons learnt that have shaped the journey of the company.
Some of our biggest learnings have been around the datasets that are generated during testing of various vehicle systems. Although each manufacturer is testing for similar functionality, the equipment used, the steps of testing, the data formats, and data quality seemed to vary hugely between manufacturers. For a while we were trying to accommodate each dataset in a special way, build separate schemas, APIs and UIs, but over time we started to notice quite a few similar underlying patterns in this data. As a result, we’ve built a very robust governance system we call Cortex that can aggregate, clean and normalize data in the same way across multiple manufacturers, systems, and tests. We have since realized that Cortex can provide a lot of value to many manufacturers who are just starting with their digitalization journeys, and thus started to offer it to customers directly.
How does the company contribute towards making the industry better?
In the recent decade the automotive industry has been facing a major transformation. As a result of electrification, autonomy, and new mobility paradigms, vehicles and automotive manufacturing processes have been growing in complexity at an overwhelming speed. This has led to billions being spent on recalls in the last few years (ex. GM ignition or Toyota acceleration), and high-profile accidents in autonomous vehicles. To succeed in the new era, manufacturers need to adopt new technologies that help ensure safety and reliability of their cars in face of the growing complexities. Acerta provides such a platform and will continue to have an impact on ensuring reliability and safety of vehicles and their parts throughout their life.
Give a detailed explanation regarding the Founder/CEO/Management’s influence towards the industry and Acerta Analytics Solutions?
Acerta has a very strong leadership team with years of experience spanning multiple disciplines including data collection, analysis, machine learning and AI, and automotive systems (development, testing, and manufacturing).
There are a few influencers on our team worth noting. Sebastian Fischmeister, Acerta’s co-founder and current Chief Science and R&D Officer, has worked in academia over the last 15 years in the area of real-time embedded and safety systems. As the Executive Director of WatCar, Waterloo’s automotive research facility, he headed many projects that focused on autonomous vehicle reliability and safety. The group had major contributions to the Renesas autonomous demonstrations at CES over the last few years.
Acerta’s CEO Greta Cutulenco comes from the automotive industry, where she focused on functional safety of vehicle ADAS systems, primarily with Magna. She used a lot of her experience from the industry, automotive and aerospace, to drive the vision at Acerta and the focus of current activities.
Acerta’s CTO Jean-Christophe Petkovich has a combination of academic experience, through his PhD at the University of Waterloo, and industry experience, through QNX and Bombardier. His earlier work has focused on the applications of machine learning and AI for performance monitoring and anomaly detection. By merging his understand of the industry and newest AI technologies, he now drives the product behind Acerta to deliver real value to Acerta’s partners and customers.
Where does Acerta Analytics Solutions see itself in the long run and/or what are its future goals?
Acerta’s goal is to facilitate the future of autonomous, connected, electric, and shared mobility by providing an AI-driven platform that can ensure reliability and safety of these vehicles throughout their life cycles. We have started making an impact for manufacturers today by applying our platform and analysis during assembly. In our most recent deployment we were able to reduce warranties by 30% by identifying complex patterns in testing data that were indicative of defects. But our vision is to provide similar value throughout the vehicle lifecycle, and have already started making headways by applying our platform and analysis to autonomous on-road connected vehicles.
Considering the rising number of Automotive Tech Solution Providers, how does Acerta Analytics Solutions stand out from its competitors?
We are the only platform solely focused on product data from automotive systems across the lifecycle of the vehicle, so from initial development and testing, through production, and afterwards while the vehicle is driven on the road. This ability to manage and analyze the product data throughout the supply chain and across multiple vehicle subsystems differentiates us from most other tech providers.
Our solution is being implemented by a growing number of automotive manufacturers as they trust the predictions and the value that our analysis brings.