First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Amir Hever: COVID-19 has been challenging for everyone, but we have managed to find a balance between productivity at work and also being more at home with our loved ones. I think that after a few months of getting adjusted, we managed to find the right sweet spot while of course, making sure everyone in the family is well and safe.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded UVeye
Amir Hever: UVeye was Co-founded by myself and my brother, Ohad Hever, who is the COO of the company. My whole career has been around artificial intelligence and deep learning, and after co-founding several startups in the field, I was VP R&D of Visualead, which was sold to Alibaba. Shortly after Ohad and I came up with the idea of UVeye, we had an experience of a guard checking below our vehicle for bombs or illicit materials at the entrance to a facility. It was obvious for us that we can develop exterior and automatic vehicle scanners that could work much better, both for security and for automotive purposes.
How does UVeye innovate?
Amir Hever: We create cutting edge combinations between hardware and software to innovate manual inspection processes of vehicles whether at the production line of a car manufacturer like Toyota or Volvo, at the inspection lane of a dealership or DMV and as a technological aid to the fleet manager of a delivery company.
We found the right technology to the right product-market fit being able to pioneer in the industry and while also providing intelligent vehicle screening solutions for the homeland security sector.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Amir Hever: We needed to move quickly and adjust our systems to the market. We added thermal sensors to detect driver and passenger fevers as part of our system and despite all the difficulties managed to launch and scale up our USA activity. There is a big need for fleet maintenance tools during a period like this as there is an increase in delivery services and emergency fleets whilst also people are buying more cars (when hesitant to use public transportation). We provide 3 pieces of contactless hardware that can indicate any mechanical issue or fault like oil leaks, broken parts, rust and more. Our systems provide a perfect automatic solution to keep vehicles safe on the road without bulky processes or human interference.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Amir Hever: It took us some time to understand how to balance the team and control productivity from remote; I have to say that it has worked much better than expected and we are delivering on some strict deadlines. I personally learnt that working from home is a viable option when managed correctly.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety? How do you project yourself and UVeye in the future?
Amir Hever: We try to maintain the right work-life balance, and whenever there is a personal or family issue, I would always encourage the employee to get that sorted and put family first. COVID has presented us with challenging times of stress and anxiety, but I do believe people are adjusting to the new normal with time.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Amir Hever: Generally, we don’t have a direct competitor with much versatile hardware like ours. There are other companies which present solutions that compete with some of the use cases which we work with. The advantage of our technology is its versatility and connectivity to the whole lifecycle of the vehicle; the same car can be scanned when it leaves the production line on the way to the dealership and then after 20,000 miles at the repair shop. We also use powerful deep learning algorithms. All our detection is automatic, and our machine learning engine has already scanned millions of vehicles which is a big advantage in this industry.
Your final thoughts
Amir Hever: I feel like these historical days of COVID-19 will be behind us in several months, and whoever managed to pull through and do great things will enjoy the fruits afterwards. We should keep delivering while being careful where we can. There is a balance that can be found between the two.
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