AI, Cognitive Vehicles

The Impact of AI on the Automotive Industry

This text was guest-authored by Giles Kirkland, car expert and all-round motoring enthusiast.

Whether you’re reading science magazines or just browsing through social media, the term AI is sure to pop up somewhere. And AI deserves to trend this way as it influences everyday lives of people in so many ways.

There’s a lot of potential in Artificial Intelligence, as it is expected to drastically make improvements in efficiency and decreases in human error. But at the same time, several concerns exist regarding how it might lead to unemployment and also that it would eliminate the element of human judgement that has its own importance.

There are many ways in which AI has been adopted by the automotive industry. While some businesses are embracing every single available technology, others remain more careful and selective. Nonetheless, according to one estimate, by the year 2020, approximately 250 million cars will be using the internet in one way or another, hence taking advantage of AI.

Autonomous Cars

The most anticipated feature of AI in the automotive industry is that of autonomous cars. The idea of self-driving vehicles has always been used in sci-fi movies, but now it’s becoming a reality. More and more governments and investors have been realising the potential of this idea and the many ways it could benefit the industry.

While there have been some breakthroughs already, the cars available are not yet 100% autonomous. Some of the leading innovators in the field have been Google and Tesla and companies such as Uber or Waymo are working on implementing self-driving cars into their fleet. Many researchers are positive that by 2040, at least 75 % of vehicles out on the roads are going to be fully autonomous (both privately and company owned).

No matter what the outcome is, one thing is sure, we will be witnessing huge investments in this field in the coming years, even though consumers are not yet 100% convinced about the safety and morality of these vehicles.

Intelligent Navigation

It has been many years since satellite navigation was first introduced and yet it continues to be as popular today as it was back then. Today this technology has been further modified to allow us to access many other features such as the ability to find petrol stations, hospitals and restaurants nearby.

It’s expected that in the coming years, we will see further advancement in this field. We will be able to pay for the fuel while sitting in our cars, through the IoT. Advanced machine learning processes will send us reminders about buying groceries when we’re near the supermarket and make suggestions about restaurants that match our personal preferences.

AI Assisted Safety

When it comes to AI, industry leaders rely on a variety of strategies. Some are aiming straight for fully autonomous vehicles, others are opting for a more conservative approach by choosing only certain AI elements for their existing vehicle range and implementing them step by step. But what’s particularly important in the self-driving sector is the concern about improving the safety of vehicles, aiming to reduce the chances of human error in important areas.

Certain AI features have already been introduced into countless models, allowing the car to take control of important systems in case of emergency or signaling drivers about dangers on the road, obstacles when parking and more. However, the majority of ideas, are not yet fully approved by consumers or not fully trusted. According to a study from MIT, people don’t want to give up their right to drive just yet. Despite these issues, the market of AI for automotive industry is expected to grow from $404 million in 2016 to $14 billion by the year 2025.

AI at Work

Predictions show that within the next decade many careers will become extinct. Human workers are quickly being replaced by robots and AI, thus becoming obsolete. This is also likely to be seen in the automotive industry, where the production process is already automated to a great extent.

It’s not surprising that the major cause of unemployment in several countries, including the U.S is, the rapid spread and adaptation of modern technologies. According to a 2013 study by Oxford University researchers, by 2025, more than 47% jobs in the United States will be replaced by automatic systems and robots. This obviously means that in the years to come, the popular careers and skills will be mostly related to science, engineering, data analysis and automatic software management.

The possible uses of AI in the automotive industry will multiply with the development of technology. While some are already in the works, others are still in the stage of infancy. However, it is promising to see that the major focus of such technologies is on making the roads safer and our lives easier.

About the author:
Giles Kirkland is an environmentally conscious car expert with passion for combining the newest technologies with a healthy lifestyle. He gives sustainable living and driving tips and shares his ideas on everything from electric vehicles to the alternative energy sources. Giles’ articles are available at Oponeo and on Twitter.