Roger Noble, Founder and CEO, Zegami
Automotive technology solutions provider Ebbon Group has moved into Artificial Intelligence (AI) via a new strategic partnership with Oxford University spin-off Zegami Ltd and the creation of a new business entity, Ebbon Intelligence.
Zegami, which has its origins within the University’s research faculty, combines advanced image analysis and AI algorithms to manage and unlock the value of large and complex data sets.
The business was born out of a collaboration led by Roger Noble, Zegami’s CEO and Oxford University scientist Steve Taylor, Zegami’s Chief Scientific Officer.
It was founded as a spin off from the University of Oxford in 2016 after enabling a cancer research project to simultaneously analyze large collections of images and data with machine learning. It’s since successfully grown as an image-based data visualization platform with backing from several major investors, including Oxford Sciences Innovation.
Ebbon Intelligence will be 80% owned by the Ebbon Group and 20% by Zegami. Ebbon Group have invested in perpetual rights to use the existing technology assets and future developments of Zegami for all of the automotive sector, giving Ebbon a considerable leap in technological capabilities for their existing and future platforms.
A team from Zegami will also work with Ebbon on an ongoing basis to help adapt the technologies for the fleet, rental, risk, compliance and other related automotive sectors.
The first practical application of the new relationship, which will see technical experts and developers from both parties working together, is likely to be in the field of smart repair and damage identification. This will allow the pinpoint accurate assessment of the depth and detail of the damage to vehicles during lease or rental periods.
This is complementary to Ebbon’s market-leading moDel platform, for which damage images play an important role under current industry guidelines, including the BVRLA’s fair wear and tear policy.
Ebbon Group director Robert Pilkington said: “We are very excited by this new venture with Zegami. Their cloud-based platform is extremely sophisticated, highly visual and has been used at the cutting edge of machine learning-based healthcare and life science.
“Its strength lies in analyzing large imaging databases and the use of machine learning to extract meaningful insight in a host of practical applications.
“Our focus initially will be on vehicle damage systems and identification of the changes in condition of vehicles between hires for rental, movements for leasing and for potential applications to commercial vehicles from our DAVIS compliance platform.
“We also believe the new venture will allow us to identify and exploit many future opportunities, especially in areas such as vehicle and driver risk and safety management.”
Co-director Craig Gibbin added: “Our aim is to stay ahead in the markets in which we operate and we believe the application of AI will allow us to both enhance our existing platforms and enter new fields that help the entire automotive sector.”
Zegami CEO and founder Roger Noble said: “We are really excited to be working with the Ebbon team, who are leading experts in the application of imaging AI to the automotive sector. It perfectly builds on the scientific and medical imaging applications and expertise we have built up over the last five years.”