A made-in-Ontario machine learning platform is helping big-name manufacturers such as Daimler and Volkswagen build better products and pave the way for driverless cars of the future.

The platform, developed and sold by Acerta Analytics Solutions Inc., in Kitchener, Ontario, gathers huge volumes of sensor data from vehicles as they go through quality inspections on the factory floor. Using artificial intelligence, the platform analyzes this sensor data against other layers of data to detect existing and potential problems.

"We analyze the interdependences between the different sensors to better detect problems and also to allow engineers to figure out the root cause of the problems faster," explains Gonen Hollander, Chief Operations Officer at Acerta. "What we've been doing is reducing warranty issues. In general, the average warranty expenses for manufacturers is about two per cent to three per cent of total revenue, which amounts to a lot of money. Most importantly, we are helping to improve safety and save lives."

Acerta's technology has applications beyond the assembly line. The company is currently developing solutions for predictive maintenance on cars on the road, where AI can detect problems before they happen. For example, when a car turns onto a slippery road, Acerta's AI algorithm instantly assesses the situation to allow either a human or autonomous system to adjust their driving.

Acerta has 15 employees – a number that's set to grow as the company continues to expand. Hollander says Acerta's ties with the University of Waterloo and the University of Toronto have helped the company find well-trained data scientists and computer engineers.

"We've seen some really great talent coming out of these two universities," says Hollander. "Being a machine learning company, it's great that we are in Ontario, which is currently [one of the] the biggest hubs in the world for this kind of technology."

March 5, 2018
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