How AI Will Change the Auto Business
AI is nothing new in the auto business. It was back in 1961 that General Motors first used robots for spot welding. But we have come a long way from spot welding. AI is going to turn all businesses inside out, especially the highly automated auto business.
Do We Mean Self Driving Cars?
Funnily enough, we don’t mean self-driving cars. But if you talk to anybody about AI and cars, they automatically assume that’s where the juice is. It’s certainly the boldest and most exciting view of robots. You no longer have to do the driving because a robot has got it all in hand. Well, actually, the car has no hands and you don’t need to use yours.
Various crazy predictions have been made about self-driving cars. At the moment, it’s anybody’s guess when they will actually be seen on the roads. It’s also debatable whether it is even possible to create a vehicle with level 5 automation. Level 5 is no human needed at all, ever. Even Nissan’s chief technology director said it may never happen. He claims it is just not possible to have an autonomous system without a “human in the loop”.
But on the way to creating a fully self-driving car is a plethora of fascinating ideas for cars that all involve AI. Some are designed for you and your vehicle, and some will improve the way the manufacturer operates.
AI designed for you
What if you and your friend got in your car and it instantly recognised each of you? Using your face, fingerprint or voice, it could set comfort, lighting or infotainment according to your own special preferences. Your fussy friend would also get highly personalised treatment – in your car.
What if you could talk to your car and it understood? Your car could grasp simple language and your gestures. You could ask for the music to be louder just by raising your arm, or where the nearest EV charging station is, by pointing at the gauge.
What if your car knew when you are tired? AI cameras facing you could recognise your facial expressions and body language and know instantly whether you are alert or not. If the car thinks you are not capable of responding safely to a hazard ahead, it engages intelligent speed assist to slow you right down.
What if your car knew you have to take over control? This is a life or death decision. The car will monitor you to make sure you are ready to take over – and clearly instruct you to do so.
AI designed for the OEMs
The manufacturers, or OEMs as they are known, know autonomous driving is only one plank of AI. The others are connected vehicles, mobility as a service, electrification, and smart manufacturing.
For example, connecting vehicles is crucial for gathering data for the purposes of insurance, predictive maintenance, road safety or personal security. Cars already use WiFi to upload and download entertainment, navigation, or update software.
Next, they will connect to each other, to traffic lights, road safety authorities, to OEMs. The amount of data they create in an hour will be gargantuan: 1Terabyte per car is typical.
Meanwhile, shared mobility takes in two other big ideas – electrification and autonomy. It needs AI to optimise prices to match supply and demand, to schedule maintenance, and to manage the fleets whatever the road conditions or the weather.
Staying on top of these AI transformations is going to be a challenge – and expensive. Whatever happened to spot welding?
We hope you enjoyed this promoted piece as much as we did!