UVeye was contactless before the COVID-19 pandemic made it compulsory and now the company plans a major expansion in the United States.
The Israeli tech startup began its life producing contact-free vehicle inspection stations for the security industry to detect weapons, explosives and other contraband. It quickly adapted its Atlas quality control technology to produce contact-free, drive-through inspection systems used by automakers such as Volvo, Daimler and Toyota to catch flaws before vehicles reach consumers. The devices can be placed along, or at the end of assembly lines.
Privately-held, UVeye is backed by automakers Volvo and Toyota plus investors that include W.R. Berkley and Fit Ventures.
CEO Amir Hever says the company has no plans to go public at this time but, “Everything is on the table and we feel there is a big potential in the both the U.S. automotive aftermarket and the homeland security sector. Our technology is unique and we are here to set a global standard for vehicle inspection, whether working with OEM’s, fleets or dealerships, as well as for security-sensitive facilities and at border control locations for undercarriage threat detection. After scaling our solutions, we will decide on the right partnerships and financial opportunities.”
UVeye’s expansion plans include:
*Sales and product development offices in New York and Ohio within the next four months
*Additional production facilities. Sites in Michigan, Ohio, Texas and “several states in the southeastern United States” are under consideration.
*Assemble team of regional sales representatives.
Along with expanding its footprint, UVeye is also broadening its product line with two new entries.
Helios is an underbody scanning system that captures problems such as frame damage and fluid leaks, as well as brake and exhaust system issues.
Artemis is a camera-based technology that automatically identifies tire specifications and checks for quality issues, including tread wear and sidewall flaws.
Once the COVID-19 pandemic spread UVeye realized the thermal-sensing aspects of its inspection systems could be used to screen vehicle occupants to detect if any might be feverish, and possibly carrying the coronavirus. The company made the systems available on a non-profit basis to police and ambulance fleets, along with delivery services for food and medical equipment.
That capability has sparked another avenue of growth for UVeye. “We have seen a great interest from emergency fleets and also dealerships and repair shops that want to continue doing business despite corona and the challenges it has brought,” said Hever. “We are now installing occupant-temperature detection systems at one of Europe’s biggest fleets and we also have seen interest from several OEM-related dealer networks, although we’ve yet to install this type of system for customers in the U.S.”
Aside from its Tel Aviv base, UVeye has headquarters in Stamford, Conn. and Tokyo with plans to open a European headquarters this year in Munich, Germany. But UVeye’s success has been so quick and lucrative, the company now says it will expand to support the planned introduction of new high-tech vehicle inspection systems for car dealers, used car auctions and fleets.