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Sustainability: What’s AI got to do with it?

Cars are recognized as one of the biggest challenges to achieving sustainability goals for the planet. While most technological solutions focus on reducing reliance on fossil fuels for cars on the road, cars that cease to be driven altogether are another challenge for sustainability.

The European Commission highlighted the ever growing problem of end-of-life vehicles (ELVs) when it proposed the Directive on end-of-life vehicles. Cars rusting away on the side of the road or even in junkyards introduce toxic components into the environment that do not biodegrade. 

A greener future enabled by AI

But the good news is that those in the car salvage business are finding ways to reclaim more usable parts of discarded cars. As a result, a lot more materials are recycled to the benefit of car businesses, consumers, and the planet. AI can accelerate these benefits.

“Properly managing discarded vehicles reduces risks to workers, public health and the environment; lowers disposal costs; saves landfill capacity and creates opportunities to recover valuable resources and earn revenues from dismantling and scrapping operations,” notes the EPA.    

AI plays a key role in getting maximum value from ELVs and reducing waste. 

Salvage companies that use AI to scan car bodies can instantly identify the parts of the car that are free of damage. It also reduces the carbon footprint of the appraisal process by eliminating the need for travel by the appraiser to view the car in person to assess which of its parts can be recycled before purchasing it.

The parts picked out by the AI can be matched with the list of parts needed for car repairs. Then the part could be sold to a body shop or another buyer who is in need of that particular part. The match solution makes inventory management for the salvaged car parts far more efficient and allows more parts to be recycled.

Case in point

LKQ North America, the leading provider of alternative vehicle parts, is now using Tractable’s AI to accelerate recycling salvaged parts. The AI uses computer vision, a technology that allows algorithms to reason based on images, to assess the specific damage on each vehicle and determine which parts can be recycled and reused.

Alex Dalyac, Tractable co-founder and CEO, said:

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“Through this collaboration with LKQ North America, our technology is improving the value of parts recycling for the entire North American auto repair ecosystem. By finding reusable parts at scale and ensuring they are distributed more quickly, our technology is already having a positive impact on both the auto industry and the environment.”

Yogi Shivdasani, Vice President of North America Supply Chain at LKQ, observed:

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“Tractable’s AI has enhanced our expertise with identifying high quality parts on salvage vehicles and to make sure those parts can be recycled and reused. Tractable further assists LKQ in delivering the right parts, to the right place, and at the right time.”

Powered by AI, recycling can increase at scale. It benefits the salvage industry, car customers, and, most importantly, the planet.

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