Applus+ Projects: Developing eReformas, digitalisation and artificial Intelligence for Applus+ vehicle inspection services


    Salvador Esquius Miquel, Technical Director at Applus+, has spent the last few years involved in an innovative artificial intelligence project to enhance the customer experience of our vehicle inspection services. The project is called eReformas and involves the digitisation of services known as "reforms" offered at Periodic Technical Inspection (PTI) stations. These include the legalisation of modifications made to vehicles, changes in service and the issuance of PTI cards, both to replace an old one and to generate a new one when importing a vehicle. Within the project, Salvador ensures that the entire process of reforms is carried out correctly. This project introduces new technology into the legalisation process and it is necessary to ensure continuous compliance with all legal requirements and quality standards.

    This development prevents unnecessary travel and its corresponding emissions, which also links it to sustainability: customers access the eReformas website and select the autonomous community and service they desire. eReformas indicates the documents they must attach and automatically analyses them to verify their correctness, informing the user of the result. If the documentation is valid, the user is instructed to proceed with the request by paying the corresponding fee. Finally, the customer must bring the vehicle to our stations for inspection, and after the review, the new PTI card is issued. If requested, it can be sent to the the client’s address.

    eReformas was born over two years ago during the regular meetings of our innovation and digitisation departments, Salvador explains: "The idea to digitise the entire documentary process emerged to facilitate the management of these types of service for our customers, as the procedure requires them to visit the station several times and within a set schedule."

    Many areas of the company have been involved in this cross-cutting project. The Technical Department, Salvador's working group, was in charge of defining the project and now oversees its proper functioning. The R&D Department, led by Víctor Salvachúa, coordinated teams and facilitated their management and progress. The Systems Department, under the responsibility of Luis García, developed the new programme according to the required specifications and made the necessary adaptations to the Inspection+ programme (used by Applus+ PTI stations) to ensure both platforms worked together.

    One of the most significant challenges was the diversity of reform services available, each with documentation subject to strict legislation regarding format and content. Furthermore, each region may have specific additional legislation. The Quality Department, led by Albert Campins, was responsible for training the stations in the new functionalities of the Inspection+ programme and conducted tests to ensure the quality of the project, checking that it complied with technical requirements. Meanwhile, the Legal Department, headed by Valentín Díaz, ensured the legal security of the entire operation.

    Another crucial aspect to consider is the needs and expectations of clients, and station managers have been essential for this. Their active participation in defining the new programme and its testing has allowed us to anticipate possible scenarios that may arise during the digital collection of documentation. In a more advanced stage of the project, they established contact with trusted clients to obtain their help in improving eReformas. This approach ensures close collaboration with end users and contributes to system optimisation.

    In the short term, the goal is to increase the volume of reforms that we manage and to carry out reforms that do not require vehicle inspection. In the medium term, the intention is to incorporate "bulk management," meaning that eReformas will allow customers to request the same type of service for a group of vehicles in a single application. In the near future, a new functionality will be added to assist our administrative staff. eReformas will verify that the documentation provided complies with regulatory requirements. The timing is favorable: some administrations are already requesting the digitisation of reform files.

    Reform services are very complex. Thanks to eReformas, business profitability increases, bureaucratic and repetitive work is reduced, and new clients are attracted by more agile processes. Additionally, it is a sustainable project: we reduce the number of customer commutes, contributing to emission reduction, and digitise documentation, which saves paper and benefs the environment. Moreover, eReformas is already fostering other digital developments, as it helps us understand the capabilities of OCR (Optical Character Recognition) systems for recognition, reading and data extraction from documents, which is essential for future projects.

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