Case Study

Intelligent automation moves in line to online

A digital transformation helps a large state agency put customers ahead of the traffic.

The better the question

Why make millions wait for an AI-accelerated customer experience?

A government agency powers up emerging technologies to serve customers with speed and convenience.


There are few things left that warrant standing in line. Fresh coffee, live entertainment and roller coasters might make the short list. But waiting to complete routine processes, such as required automobile registrations and annual renewals, is likely to leave busy customers thinking there must be a better way.


The good news: There is.


As most essential services shift from traditional service models to online offerings, businesses and government agencies are exploring emerging technologies including artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) to modernize their operations, increase efficiencies, upscale services and elevate customer experiences. Tired expectations of long lines, in-person appointments and manual paperwork are fading as intelligent automation transforms the way consumers interact with business and government organizations.


A large state transportation agency recently faced surges in demand that resulted in extended wait times and service backlogs for its 10 million-plus customers. This Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) needed a technology upgrade that would modernize its services and deliver seamless digital experiences to residents.

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The agency engaged longtime collaborator Ernst & Young LLP (EY US) to harness AI-powered opportunities for streamlining processes, automating manual tasks and enhancing organizational effectiveness. The digital transformation was driven by the customer experience, using intelligent automation to build virtual services such as vehicle renewals, registrations, and payment processing to keep pace with consumer expectations.

The impact of successful AI-enabled implementations like this on people’s everyday lives cannot be overstated.

The major outcome of the project would be new digital service channels, offering customers the end-to-end ability to complete forms, upload documents, make secure online payments and fulfill state requirements online. These new capabilities would also cut back on paper use, reduce carbon footprints, save time for employees and make life a whole lot easier for the customers.

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The better the answer

Emerging technologies give DMV customers a smoother ride

Robotic process automation and artificial intelligence tune up services at the DMV.


To kick-start this agency’s customer experience innovation, EY teams worked with DMV leadership to assess the technology, process and governance needed to support department-wide intelligent automation initiatives.

It quickly became clear that robotic process automation (RPA), workflow-based automation, AI and ML were the ticket to support and streamline operations and digitize the public interface.

EY teams started with the obvious needs, identifying the most common and high-demand DMV processes, such as routine annual renewals, to create early use cases from data already captured and readily available in the agency’s central system. From there, the teams built out the more nuanced customer-facing services with newly scripted fields and forms, developing more than 50 additional capabilities for the various DMV processes and functions.

EY practitioners engaged in the project brought cross-functional knowledge and experience spanning project management, enterprise architecture, technology and software development, security analysis, development operations, engineering and business solutions analysis. And the project scope included the establishment of a Digital Transformation and Intelligent Automation Center of Excellence.


Now operating one of the largest intelligent automation implementations in the country, this agency has expanded its online service offerings, elevating its quality and greatly reducing the burden on its customers – saving them time, transportation fuel costs, missed work hours, and ancillary expenses such as child and elder care often incurred during routine visits to the DMV.

The better the world works

12 million transactions give countless hours back to customers

A digital transformation equates to millions saved.


By launching the new digital portal, the DMV has put customers first, giving them back valuable hours and reducing the stress of routine processes. In response to rising demand, the initial online capability was delivered in just three months with additional offerings following quickly thereafter.


Intelligent automation also allows this large state agency to transform paperwork into digital workflow for employees, facilitating DMV data entry from online transactions into back-office applications. This technology saves state employees thousands of hours of manual entry time, decreases the need for millions of pounds of costly paper each year, increases back-office accuracy and efficiencies, and frees up tax dollars for better use.


For millions of state residents who need to access these services routinely, whether for professional or personal reasons, the new portal is a game changer – turning a time-consuming wait for face-to-face interaction into a smooth, click-through online process. These end-to-end, secure transactions allow customers to complete routine state requirements seamlessly, whenever is most convenient for them. To date, more than 12 million transactions have been completed through the online portal.


Intelligent automation using robotic process automation and machine learning has, so far, saved this state agency approximately 300,000 employee hours, more than 4 million sheets of paper and $14.4 million in associated cost.

“The impact of successful, AI-enabled implementations like this on people’s everyday lives cannot be overstated,” says Cristina Secrest, EY US State, Local, and Education (SLED) Artificial Intelligence & Automation Leader. “Imagine the difference between taking a half or even full day away from work, family and routine to take a number and wait in line, as opposed to a few clicks on a screen – and thanks to intelligent automation, you’re back on the road.”

For a major state agency, that seems like time (and money) well spent.

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