As is the case with most industries as of 2023, the automotive industry is undergoing rapid digital transformation. Artificial intelligence (AI) has played no small part in this change, and it’s thanks to AI that those in the automotive industry have new opportunities to make work on innovations ranging from autonomous or self-driving vehicles to hands-free parking.
Among the burgeoning technologies in the automotive industry that continue to alter the way we operate our vehicles is AI’s ability to track data in real-time. AI has become so sophisticated that it can now measure how fast our vehicles are going, the traffic laws present in our area, and even the last time we stopped driving to take a break. By analyzing different scenarios in real-time, AI can generate feedback that automotive engineers can use to improve AI-enabled vehicular systems.
These systems, at their core, exist for the main purpose of assuming control of a vehicle in the event someone becomes no longer able to drive, which can subsequently improve that driver’s safety. To that end, let’s dive into the ways that AI is shaping the future of the industry’s technology and what we may expect in the coming years.
AI in the automotive industry: its evolution and impact
Before we examine the way AI technologies are shaping the automotive industry’s future, let’s first take a quick look at how AI has played a role in the industry and how its evolution has impacted it.
AI in the automotive industry is not, strictly speaking, new: nearly 7 years ago, there were already more than thirty companies that were testing out vehicles that were equipped with AI — Tesla, Apple, and Google were the biggest examples. These companies were testing AI-enabled cars in order to teach AI how to change lanes for drivers, safely break during traffic, and even mitigate the risk of accidents.
A Frisco, Texas-based AI-enabled vehicle startup called Drive.ai, for example, launched a pilot program that would give smartphone users the opportunity to hail self-driving vehicles in geofenced areas free of charge. The company noted that the program was “a milestone for the State of Texas“, and proudly announced that residents would be able to take advantage of smart vehicles that could be operated on public roads.
These days, there are several notable AI features that are almost always considered during the vehicle manufacturing process: voice and gesture recognition, V2X (which is basically the communication a vehicle shares with any entity that affects it or that it can affect), and human-machine interaction. With that said, players in the self-driving vehicle sector of the automotive industry are always on the lookout for ways to enable a greater number of features.
Why? Well, for lots of reasons, one of the biggest being how excited consumers become at the prospect of driving autonomous vehicles that promise smart and safe driving experiences.
What’s driving automotive AI market growth?
There is no shortage of reasons for automotive AI market growth, but there are certainly some factors that stand out. We’ve collected some of the most important ones below:
Reduced costs and time saved
The implementation of AI for the sake of designing and testing vehicles allows businesses to save both time and money. Rather than rely on traditional methods, automotive engineers are now working with AI-enabled computer models that improve their productivity and product modeling.
Enhanced customer experience
The more automotive engineers install AI-enabled applications and features into their vehicle models, the more they improve their models’ performance — and subsequently the experience of their customers. Picture, for instance, automotive consumers who are particularly wary of their vehicle’s security: with certain AI-enabled cars, they can rest easy knowing that their vehicle has an immobilization system that prevents hot-wiring. Other consumers, for example, may be regularly driving around their family members and heavily emphasize driver and passenger security: they can invest in smart cars that offer driver monitoring and risk assessment for collision prevention.
Savvy automotive consumers understand that AI greatly contributes to a lasting and satisfying user experience. Thanks to the use of AI for manufacturing, customizing tools and features has never been easy for consumers to navigate. People can now enjoy the freedom of being able to personalize their care, a prospect that undeniably generates a wider consumer audience interested in investing in AI-enabled vehicles. Personalization has always been an essential and industry-agnostic driver of competitive success; not only does AI-driven personalization attract more automotive consumers who want an unparalleled user experience, but it also allows businesses to collect consumers’ data in order to predict their needs and, ultimately, produce new vehicles with features predicated on those needs.
What should automotive consumers expect in the coming years?
For starters and most obviously, there’s little question that manufacturers in the automotive industry will focus on improving their models with AI-enabled features. It’s likely that the entire transportation sector will eventually be saturated with AI that impacts the automotive industry from the supply chain all the way to production.
Considering that AI applications can predict issues that have the potential to impact a vehicle’s functions, it also stands to reason that vehicle services will undergo a pretty significant transformation. These services will need to adapt to AI’s ability to constantly monitor a vehicle’s engine performance and battery.
Automotive companies that use AI are looking toward a future that is guaranteed to undergo a transformation, too. The worldwide size of the automotive AI market – which is forecast to hit $7.5B by 2028 – will likely inculcate the need for the industry’s top performers to increasingly collaborate with each other.
The automotive industry’s increasingly strong adoption of AI makes for an undeniably exciting future. Consumers in the space are drawn to improved safety and fuel efficiency as well as an enhanced user experience, which is why it’s little wonder that as many as 98% of new vehicles at the end of 2030 will offer AI.
There’s no doubt about it: artificial intelligence is very much here to stay. It’s already taking over the automotive industry, and it’s clear that vehicles that feature AI technology will help transform the way that consumers view the industry at large.
We’ve already gotten a taste of features such as smart steering, parking, and braking; by the end of the decade, who knows how many more features will have taken root in the transportation sector? One thing is for certain: we’ll be keeping a constant and close watch on the ways AI is shaping the future of automotive technology and what we can expect in the years to come.