Monday, January 24

Solera, artificial intelligence from Seville to the world


Investment of 25 million in the second Spanish center

Updated

“A 100% North American company bets on Spain, recognizes its talent and trusts its results,” says Solera’s director of International Operations, Javier Velasco.

Javier Velasco, Director of International Operations at Solera.
Javier Velasco, Director of International Operations at Solera.
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The American company Solera, which invoice 2,200 million dollars annually, has opened its fourth world Center of Excellence in Seville, second in Spain after Madrid, focused on artificial intelligence with innovations for the automotive ecosystem such as Qapter, a tool that acts on the entire automotive value chain: manufacturers, dealers, fleets, workshops and insurers.

Javier Velasco is Solera’s Director of International Operations and assures EL MUNDO in the Seville Center that this is “much more than a software factor” and prefers to call it an “innovation accelerator”, because his company is distinguished by “industrializing innovation and provide solutions covering the entire life cycle of the car“.

‘Casting’ and start in the middle of the pandemic

Solera contribute to his Sevillian ‘laboratory’ 25 million euros of investment in three years, starting with the six of this 2021. The Center has been raised in the middle of the pandemic, at the end of 2020 and has generated until now 260 jobs and exceed 300 with high technological qualifications. Professionals from 21 different nationalities work there (although the former president and founder of the company, Tony Aquila, preferred to call his employees ‘volunteers’), although the Andalusian accent is the one we hear the most when they explain their tasks to us. “There is a cultural mix that allows us to have a global vision”explains Velasco.

And that is one of the keys to this expansion: that the talent of these young Spaniards is not exiled in Germany, France or the United States. “A 100% North American company is committed to Spain in the field of innovation and recognizes talent, convinced that this commitment will give good results”, Javier Velasco emphasizes. One of the keys to this company is that collaborates with universities and administrations in the style of the great American companies.

The director of International Operations narrates the curious ‘casting’ thus: “In January of last year it was decided extend the Madrid Center of Excellence, with 400 positions, in another Spanish city. Seville seemed the most appropriate for us to continue growing. In February everything was ready, but the pademic arrived. What do we do? We wonder. And the American company – I am the fourth person that I hired for the Madrid Center, 26 years ago – decided that we should continue. So there was begin hiring, interviewing and training virtually. We send computers to each one at home by messenger. This building was completed last April and until June, our people have worked at home, without knowing each other“.

Ubiquity

With them, Solera develops the new software in Seville, quality control is monitored, data science is handled and the most complex architectures of vehicles are studied, among other solutions that in some cases serve the manufacturer for their future launches.

The Seville Center of Excellence offers service to Europe, Latin America, Africa (Maghreb and South Africa, basically) and Asia-Pacific. During our visit, we spoke with employees who were serving countries such as Austria or Australia at the time.

“Although the name of our company may not sound familiar to you, I assure you that you have ever used Solera solutions when you have left your car for repair after an accident,” Velasco tells us. During the visit to this new headquarters we have been able to see how the millions of data that it handles on each car in the world market for almost three decades are transformed into artificial intelligence.

That ‘translation’ allows quickly control all processes through which a car passes with a scratch or a major dent and provides the insurer and the customer, who has previously sent a photo of the vehicle thanks to an app, a quick diagnosis of the problem, the most efficient solution and in less than 10 minutes. The face-to-face expertise (“and when will the expert come?”, Remember?) Is withdrawn except in very specific cases.

If, as Velasco affirms, practically all of us have left our vehicles in the hands of Solera, even if only by side, it is because this company processes data from almost 200 manufacturers and covers 1.3 billion cars around the world, where an estimated 1,400 million roll. And it also has memorized 250 million claims in a hundred countries. With them, Solera enables clients, insurers and providers to make smarter decisions based on software, rich data, proprietary algorithms and machine learning.

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