Nissan teams with Canadian AI firm Acerta to predict maintenance problems

An Ontario company focused on industrial artificial intelligence (AI) has partnered with Nissan to help drivers predict potential maintenance problems before they can lead to serious, costly repairs.

Kitchener, Ont.-based Acerta Analytics Solutions Inc. announced the collaboration with the automaker June 22.

Company CEO Greta Cutulenco, an Automotive News Canada 2019 Canadian to Watch, said the tech firm will develop machine learning models that keep track of anomalies in vehicles’ key powertrain components and notify owners when issues arise.

“Our models will also estimate the remaining distance that a vehicle can travel before maintenance is needed, which will improve the longevity of specific parts,” Cutulenco said in a release.

Acerta will work with the Japan-based Nissan Research Center on the predictive maintenance platform. The customized machine learning models could translate into cost savings for vehicle owners and increased on-road safety.

“We are excited about the potential to help our customers know in advance when their vehicle could require maintenance,” said Kazuhiro Doi, corporate vice-president at Nissan. “By alerting the driver of a potential future issue, the driver can pre-emptively seek maintenance or repairs.”

The partnership is backed by the Ontario Vehicle Innovation Network (OVIN), receiving $344,000 in provincial funding. The total research project is valued at nearly $1.4 million, with Acerta and Nissan providing the balance.

The automaker’s Canadian arm, which oversees Nissan sales, marketing and distribution in Canada, is not directly involved in the project.

The partnership advances Acerta further into automotive. Founded in Kitchener in 2017, the company got its start developing AI-powered data analysis tools to help manufacturers build better quality products more efficiently. It has since expanded into applying its data crunching expertise to on- and off-road vehicles after they have left the assembly plant.

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