How AI Will Impact the Automotive Industry



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 or 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. It is making such a big splash
due to the fact that it has the potential to make huge improvements in efficiency and decreases in
human error. However, there are also concerns over how it might replace those in jobs and also take
out the element of human judgement, which is important in many spaces.


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 technologies
that are well tested and consumers widely feel safe using. In fact, by 2020 industry analysts
estimate and around 250 million cars will be connected to the internet in some way, allowing
them to take advantage of AI.


In this article we run through 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.


Autonomous Cars



The best known and well covered AI innovation in the automotive industry is that of 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 all understanding the benefits and opportunities
in this new technology, it is set to be one of the biggest changes we will see the automotive industry
in coming years.


Although there are already a number of cars out there with the driverless option
, not all of these are on the consumer market ready for people 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 2019 we may see a fully autonomous vehicle that will be advanced enough to drive from
one destination to another, encountering a range of on-road scenarios without driver interaction.
The same estimates also suggest that by 2040 75% of all vehicles will be autonomous.


Whatever the outcome, it is certain that we will see big investments in autonomous vehicles
in the coming years. However, the challenges are not just technological, but also depends
widely on when and how consumers will 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 action 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. This is clear in the fact that in 2015 the
install rate of AI systems in cars was just 8%, however this is expected to rise massively up
until 2025 when it is expected to be at 109%.


AI at Work



Many predict 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. To put things into perspective, the national Pew poll
confirmed that the biggest cause of job loss in the U.S. is technology. In addition, a
2013 Oxford University study estimates that within the next 20 years, up to 47 percent
of jobs in the U.S. could be replaced by automated technology and robots. Career transitions
will be undoubtedly required as it has been said that expertise in data analysis and collection,
science, engineering, economics and managing automatic software programs will be the most
sought after skills.


Intelligent Navigation



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 satnav units integrate into our smartphones and the
introduction of clever features allowing you do things like find nearby fuel stations and restaurants.


It is likely that in the coming years we will see 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 get out your credit card out. It may also undertake learning which will
allow functions such as finding nearby restaurants that match your personal preferences and
remind you which groceries to pick up as you get near to a supermarket.

In this article we have taken a detailed look at what Artificial Intelligent may mean for the
automotive industry in coming years. Many of these new technologies are already in the
pipeline and are being adopted in some way by innovative car manufacturers. It is good
to see that there is a major focus on using AI to make roads safer for everyone and exciting
to see the developments that will make all car users lives more convenient.

Author info

Giles Kirkland is an automotive expert and mechanic with an interest in new technology and AI.

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