Carvana has patented a photographic paddle and process for capturing high-quality, reflection-free images of vehicle interiors and exteriors without moving the vehicle. The paddle includes cameras, light sources, and a reader to identify vehicle-specific information. This innovative process ensures rapid adaptation to changing photographic conditions. GlobalData’s report on Carvana gives a 360-degree view of the company including its patenting strategy. Buy the report here.

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According to GlobalData’s company profile on Carvana, Virtual try-ons was a key innovation area identified from patents. Carvana's grant share as of April 2024 was 63%. Grant share is based on the ratio of number of grants to total number of patents.

Photographing vehicle interiors using specialized paddle with cameras and lights

Source: United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Credit: Carvana Co

A recently granted patent (Publication Number: US11949998B2) outlines a process for photographing the interior of a vehicle using a specialized photographic paddle. The method involves reading a VIN or dealer stock number with the paddle, which includes multiple cameras, light sources, a reader for vehicle-specific information, a shutter release, and a power supply. The process includes capturing a series of images of various vehicle features based on the identified vehicle information.

Furthermore, the patent details additional steps such as adjusting camera orientation and wing angles, sensing ambient light conditions, and generating composite images based on accelerometer data. The photographic paddle can be inserted into the vehicle through an open window or door, and adjustments can be made manually or automatically before capturing images. The process also includes compositing reflection-free and glare-free images, generating stereoscopic three-dimensional images, and blending images based on various factors. The patent also covers the design of the photographic paddle itself, including features like a motor, sensors for ambient lighting conditions and distance detection, and an accelerometer for data generation during the image capture process.

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GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData Patent Analytics tracks bibliographic data, legal events data, point in time patent ownerships, and backward and forward citations from global patenting offices. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.