Visit any tech-based blog or visit the ‘technology’ tab on any mainstream media website and there are two letters you will find everywhere: AI. Artificial Intelligence is big news, it is already changing the way we live and is set to disrupt many industries in the next few years.
The car industry are embracing AI in many ways, with some businesses fully adopting all the technology available and others taking a more cautious approach, just adopting those solutions that are well tested and consumers widely feel safe using.
In fact, by 2020 industry analysts estimate that around 250 million cars will be connected to the internet in some way, allowing them to take advantage of AI. Even though car connectivity poses cyber security threats, it offers amazing safety features such as auto-braking or emergency call systems.
Let’s take a closer look at the ways in which the automotive industry are set to be impacted by developments in Artificial Intelligence. This will include covering various technologies such as autonomous cars, AI assisted safety, smart insurance and intelligent navigation.
AI in autonomous cars
Although the idea of driverless cars has been around for decades, it is only recently that we have seen the sort of advancements that could make this use of AI a very real option. With governments and big businesses alike understanding the benefits and opportunities of AI, it is set to be one of the most important automotive technologies we will see in the years to come.
There are already a number of cars out there with the driverless option. However, not all of these are on the consumer market ready for people to buy. We have seen some of these from leading innovators such as Tesla and Google, who are set to lead the market into fully automated transportation. In fact, some recent estimates suggest that by 2040, 75% of all vehicles will be autonomous.
Whether this turns out to be true or not depends not only on technological advancements but also on consumers’ reactions to them. The challenges the market will need to face are not just technical - the success of AI in self-driving cars also depends widely on how consumers trust autonomous vehicles without the ability to introduce human intervention.
AI assisted safety
With some industry leaders chasing the ultimate goal of fully autonomous vehicles, others are taking a more conservative approach and adding AI elements to their existing range of vehicles. Many of these are focused on increasing the safety of vehicles through limiting the potential of human error in key areas.
For example, we are already seeing many AI features rolled out that can control systems such as breaking in the case that the driver doesn’t do so in time. We have also seen more simple systems such as sensors that will show when certain actions are safe or not safe to take.
These systems are not yet widely trusted or accepted, although there is a rapid increase in their adoption across the manufacturing industry. In 2015 the install rate of AI systems in new cars was just 8%; by 2025 it’s supposed to be a standard for all infotainment and autonomous applications.
AI jobs in the automotive sector
It’s believed that in the next 5-10 years a large amount of typical careers will cease to exist as robots and artificial intelligence replace more and more human workers. This will most definitely happen in the automotive industry where the greater part of the production process is automated.
While there are already many robots operating in car factories around the globe, their functions are limited as they’re programmed into doing a particular job. AI application in that field can boost the robotic performance as it will be able to process unstructured data such as images and speech.
AI-based machines will not simply follow the programmed rules - they will work out solutions on their own, which will definitely increase innovation and efficiency. This technology won’t just change car manufacturing, it will change the entire automotive sector.
The world went mad when satellite navigation first hit the market and it has come a long way since then. We have seen stand-alone sat nav units integrate into our phones or tablets and the introduction of smart in-car infotainment systems allowing you to check things out without specialist equipment.
It is likely that in the coming years there will be more advances in these types of convenience based features built into the car. For example, some predict that your car will not only allow you to locate nearby fuel stations but will allow you to automatically pay for your fuel without the need to enter the kiosk or take out your credit card. It may also remind you to pick up your kids from school and do some shopping on the way back home.
Many of these new technologies are already in the pipeline and are being adopted in some way by innovative car manufacturers. It’s great to see that there is a major focus on using AI for better road safety. It’s also exciting to see the developments that will make all car users’ lives more convenient.