CarStory, a provider of search and inventory data and analytics on used vehicles, announced on Monday that a technology powering its Market Reports has been awarded a U.S. Patent No. 9,465,873. The company highlighted this is the second patent awarded in two years for a technology utilized by CarStory Market Reports.
To date, the tool has been adopted by more than 6,000 dealers nationwide to help consumers understand a vehicle’s whole “story” through comprehensive, real-time, hyper-local data. CarStory can deliver 15 million Market Reports each month to consumers around the country.
The patent, which is titled “Systems, Methods and Devices for Identifying and Presenting Identifications of Significant Attributes of Unique Items,” was awarded to Vast.com, which uses the technology to power its CarStory Market Reports. The technology automatically can determine which aspects of a used-vehicle search are most significant to consumers and then identify the top three or four features that are the unique price drivers for that vehicle, presenting them in an easily digestible format to enable consumers to make more confident purchasing decisions.
Vast.com’s most recent previous patent was issued in December of last year for its “similarities engine,” which automatically can generate relevant and “like” vehicle recommendations through the CarStory Market Reports to buyers, helping facilitate a better, more informed vehicle selling/buying experience.
“Vast’s newest patent validates the power of the technology behind CarStory Market Reports. Because used vehicle price drivers differ dramatically from those that influence pricing when a vehicle is brand new, unique technology is required to help illuminate and quantify nuances for both dealers and consumers alike,” said David Franke, chief data scientist at Vast.com and co-inventor of the patent.
For example, a trim line that adds value to a vehicle when it is new may not play the same, positive role in the model’s price after a few years of wear and tear — leather seats may age poorly or GPS technology may be outdated.
“It is this real time, preference-based, nuanced vehicle intelligence that has been awarded in the patent and is the reason CarStory Market Reports have been so widely adopted,” Franke said.
“Our ‘demand/price driver engine’ improves the used car buying process by highlighting the handful of vehicle attributes that consumers are most interested in — even down to regional and local levels,” he continued.
By embedding important vehicle research directly in the vehicle detail page (VDP), CarStory Market Reports can encourage consumers to stay and engage on dealership websites, rather than clicking off to find information on third-party research sites. The Reports’ robust and unique information is based on insights generated from a combination of real-time used vehicle listings and data from over eight million used car searches each week.
The patented technology can highlight the unique attributes and features that drive price, whether it’s Bluetooth, roof rack or heated seats.
“CarStory Market Reports really help educate our sales team about which features are most important to our used car shoppers, and, because they are so engaging and informative, the reports have increased our online lead conversion,” said Tom White Jr., general manager of Subaru of Wichita.