A new artificial intelligence (AI) tool soon to be introduced by FleetCheck is enabling fleet managers to scan invoices into its software in a matter of seconds.

Peter Golding, managing director at the fleet software specialist, said that the advance, which is currently undergoing customer testing, would mean thousands of hours saved every year across the company’s user base.

“When we survey our users, one of the things they find really time-consuming is manually keying all of the information on an invoice into the system. The new tool means it’s as fast as scanning the invoice, turning a job that would normally take an average of five minutes into one that can be completed in under 10 seconds.

“All of the important details on the document are automatically recognised from the image and populated into our system. They can then be passed directly to your company’s accounting software in the appropriate format.

“We already have several fleets trialling the tool and the feedback we have received from them is extremely positive. It’s a really good use of AI and an example of what it can be used to achieve for fleet managers.”

The new tool follows FleetCheck’s first use of AI in its Licence Assured licence checking product. Introduced in September, it allows users to upload an image of a driving licence, with its details automatically populated into the system.

Peter continued: “We learnt a lot about AI from creating the licence scanning tool, especially the fact that employing the technology is not necessarily easy. To get this to a stage where the data can be accurately extracted has taken quite some time.

“However, we’re now at a point where we can reliably examine images and identify the relevant data, and we’ll be applying the same principle not just to invoice scanning but to other documents in the coming months and years. It’s a question of identifying which tasks are most suited to AI and deliver maximum benefits for users.”

He added that FleetCheck’s view of AI was very much that it shouldn’t be seen as a means to reduce the number of people carrying out administrative fleet tasks but instead should free them to spend more time looking at data and making strategic decisions.

“The time saved by the new invoice and licence scanning tools should be used by fleet managers to look at their operations in more detail, identifying areas where improvements can be made, whether that means operational benefits, cost savings or improved safety. For us, that is what AI is all about.”