How is AI Transforming the Automotive Industry?

avcontentteam 17 Jul, 2023 • 11 min read

Right now, you may be fast-forwarding to the days when flying cars will have become a reality, but there was also a time when you’d imagine being a passenger in an autonomous vehicle. Artificial intelligence (and Tesla and Waymo) translate the real-quick and fascinating concept to reality. However, the potential of AI in the automotive industry does not begin or end with self-driving cars. It is about many features that unlock comforts for all: automobile manufacturers, drivers, and passengers. And we shall dig deeper into how this works.

What is AI in Automotive Industry?

AI in the automotive industry implies the implementation of artificial intelligence techniques in several areas of the automotive world. Various AI technologies such as machine learning (ML), natural language processing (NLP), and computer vision contribute to integrating artificial intelligence in the automotive industry, aiming toward better driver experience. These technologies in the AI automotive world automate many tasks, such as route planning, navigation, parking, etc., while also proffering efficiency and safety.

Why Do We Need AI in Automotive Industry?

Benefits of AI in the Automotive Industry
Source: Emerj

From design and manufacturing to production and post-production, the integration of AI in the automotive industry has already geared up — and there are many reasons why it can be the beginning of something exceptionally comfortable, safe, and fast. Read on to some key benefits of artificial intelligence in the automotive industry:

Improved Safety

With AI in automotive enabling advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS), improved road safety looks promising. AI algorithms can analyze sensor data to identify potential dangers in real-time, which mitigates the risk of accidents. Automatic emergency braking and lane-keeping assist are features in the AI automotive environments leading to on-spot monitoring and safer driving experiences.

Autonomous Driving

Autonomous vehicles are the offering of AI, and self-driving cars have already garnered enough headlines, to begin with. These cars use the integration of AI technologies that help understand the surroundings, practice quick decision-making, and drive around without human intervention. Call it a phenomenon or revolution; AI in automotive self-driving cars indicates fewer human errors, more organized traffic flow, and accessibility to individuals who cannot drive. Tesla Model 3, Volvo XC40, BMW iX, and Lexus LS are some of the most recent and high-tech self-driving cars.

Improved Efficiency

AI in the automobile industry can minimize traffic congestion and optimize fuel efficiency. Driverless vehicles can help bring fuel economy drop by 10%. Artificial intelligence algorithms analyze road conditions and traffic patterns to suggest the best vehicle routes, reducing fuel consumption and emissions. Moreover, AI-powered intelligent traffic management systems can control flow to manage congestion.

Also Read: zPod, India’s First AI-Driven Autonomous Vehicle

Applications of AI in Autonomous Vehicles

Using various artificial intelligence techniques in the automotive industry has opened the door to tremendous possibilities for automobiles. Here are the applications of AI automotive technologies that are preparing the sector for an effortless future of driving:

Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS)

AI is the powerhouse of various ADAS features, including lane-keeping assist, automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, and parking assist. These systems leverage AI algorithms and sensors to monitor the vehicle’s surroundings, identify potential dangers, and assist drivers in easily collision-free driving, parking, and more.

Autonomous Driving and Self-driving Cars

AI has garnered popularity for introducing self-driving cars to the world for all good reasons. The technology brings in machine learning algorithms, computer vision, and sensor fusion techniques to understand the environment surrounding a vehicle, make real-time decisions, and manage the car in the overall driving spectrum. Autonomous vehicles are pacing up to redefine transportation, enhance road safety, mitigate accidents, and improve traffic flow.

Sensor Fusion and Perception Systems

Sensor fusion collects data from sensors such as cameras, RADAR, LiDAR, and ultrasonic sensors to create a collective understanding of vehicles’ surroundings. AI algorithms process sensor data and integrate it to detect objects and predict behavior, which helps make informed decisions in real time. These systems activate advanced driver assistance features, including adaptive cruise control and pedestrian detection, resulting in an efficient driving experience.

Path Planning and Navigation

Path planning and navigation are essential aspects of AI in the automotive industry. It encompasses components including perception, localization, and collision avoidance to direct optimize routes.

AI for Vehicle Safety and Predictive Maintenance

Risk assessment and decision-making are the powerful outcomes of predictive analytics in every industry, and the automotive leaves no stone unturned when it comes to leveraging this AI technique to reinforce driver safety.

Predictive Analytics for Maintenance

AI accentuates predictive maintenance by analyzing vehicle data from sensors and systems. By identifying patterns and anomalies, AI algorithms predict potential failures or breakdowns, which backs prevention strategies. The proactive approach with AI in the automobile industry helps optimize maintenance schedules, minimizes downtime, and improves vehicle reliability, saving vehicle owners and manufacturers money.

Real-time Monitoring and Diagnostics

Predictive maintenance in the automotive industry
Source: Aviation Analysis

The maintenance powered by predictive analytics helps both car manufacturers and owners. It allows customers to get timely alerts about potential technical risks and directly contact manufacturers for maintenance rather than repair shops.

Safety and Risk Assessment

Artificial intelligence in the automotive industry can help drivers and passengers enjoy a worry-free journey by facilitating alerts about potential dangers on a specific route and helping with tasks such as parking and reversing.

AI-Enabled Customer Experience

Artificial intelligence in the automotive industry is intended towards improved customer experience. From driving to driver-vehicle interactions, the industry uses the technology for several personalization purposes to render effortless driving experiences.

Personalized Driving Experience

AI enhances vehicle user experience using technologies like Natural language processing and voice recognition that enable smooth-sailing interaction between humans and machines. This allows both drivers and passengers to take control of different functions with the help of voice commands. AI-enabled virtual assistants facilitate personalized recommendations, real-time information, and more, creating a rather effortless driving experience.

AI for improved driving experience
Source: Frost

Voice Recognition and Natural Language Processing

While some industry players use third-party personal assistants, some automotive companies have opted to have their voice-recognition systems. These assistants will adjust the temperature, offer information about fuel or gas, make calls, and change radio stations. These tools have high levels of personalization, meaning they can remember drivers’ preferences and recommend adjustments based on the context and user history.

In-car Virtual Assistants

In-car virtual assistants have changed the industry by introducing voice-controlled assistance and connectivity solutions. These intelligent systems are powered by natural language processing and allow drivers and passengers a seamless interaction with their vehicles through audio commands.

AI in Manufacturing and Supply Chain

From overseeing the manufacturing process of every vehicle to managing a world of components, a lot goes into the making of a vehicle. Artificial intelligence and its various technologies are helping manufacturers overcome efficiency, cost, and multiple issues by automating and streamlining different processes.

How is AI helping the automotive industry
Source: The Engineer

Robotics and Automation

Robotics and automation can be predominantly suitable for vehicle manufacturing, given the techniques help the automotive industry with efficiency, precision, and not to forget—cost-effectiveness. These robots have become instrumental in preventing damage to humans and identifying irregularities in material parts.

Quality Control and Defect Detection

The data annotation powered by artificial intelligence makes it more accessible for the manufacturing industry to identify and work out the issues, however, minute or severe they may be. It renders cost-effectiveness by resolving the issue in vehicles at the initial stage, preventing incomplete or error-clad outcomes.

Supply Chain Optimization

Only the supply chain industry knows what tough nut vehicle components are to crack! It is an uphill task for automotive managers to manage and monitor the components every step of the way. AI and ML come to their rescue by helping managers systematically manage the supply chain modules.

AI for Smart Traffic Management

Traffic flow management is one of the most critical areas in the AI automotive arena that is expected to welcome transformation at the hands of emerging AI technologies like IoT. Here are the features that give us a good glance at that.

Traffic Prediction and Optimization

AI-enabled traffic management systems can analyze data to optimize traffic flow and minimize real-time congestion. From suggesting the best and safest routes to coordinating traffic signals with accurate data-driven predictions, AI helps reduce travel time, enhance road capacity, and improve overall transportation management.

AI for traffic management
Source: Industry Wired

Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS)

Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) traverse a cluster of advanced AI technologies to increase transportation efficiency, safety, and sustainability. These systems use data analytics, sensors, and real-time communication to fetch actionable insights and help transportation authorities and users with decision-making. ITS applications involve traffic signal control, adaptive cruise control, and vehicle-to-vehicle communication.

These systems are widely used in smart road infrastructures, like the ones in Europe and Chengdu-Yibin Highway in China.

Connected Vehicle Technologies

The growth of IoT has been dramatic. When the technology mingles with 5G and cloud computing, it establishes connectivity between vehicles, smartphones, and infrastructures, boosting safety and efficiency in autonomous driving.

AI in Design and Development

Design and development make yet another field in the AI automotive industry that exemplifies the incredible potential of various artificial intelligence techniques for automobiles. While on the surface, it encompasses futuristic designs and their alignment with robust vehicle performance, the AI-backed design process helps engineers and manufacturers achieve automobile-making agility.

Generative Design and Optimization

Manufacturing companies have been leveraging generative design to develop more robust and sustainable automotive parts for quite some time. AI in the automobile industry enables productive design systems to create an array of variations for a specific component per the standards defined by designers and engineers.

Simulation and Virtual Testing

AI automotive companies are using digital twins extensively to streamline car designing processes by simulating how a specific design impacts the vehicle’s performance. With the help of historical and sensor data, engineers and designers can gain valuable insights into how their ideas translate to a vehicle’s final look and implementation. For instance, Tesla relies heavily on simulations to train its self-driving AI despite the ample volume of real-time driving data the company has accumulated. See a Tesla simulation here.

Rapid Prototyping and Iterative Development

The automotive industry, owing to cut-throat competition, needs rapid prototyping. AI-powered prototyping utilizes state-of-art product development methods that eradicate the pain points in traditional prototyping and help streamline the entire process.

Ethical and Regulatory Considerations

AI in the automotive industry is exciting, but not sunshine and rainbows. Here are the primary considerations the automotive industry needs to trace to ensure the successful implementation of AI in vehicles.

Safety and Liability Issues

The intricate nature of algorithms and the demand to adapt to real-time driving with AI pose safety concerns. It is critical to ensure the safety of autonomous vehicles by rigorously testing and monitoring AI systems. Moreover, any event of a collision in autonomous cars can spark questions on liability, seeking the responsible entity for the accident. Thus, creating a plan and determining the accountability to address such issues is ideal.

Ethical Decision-making in AI-enabled Vehicles

AI systems, more often, can provide biased results and require companies to use algorithms responsibly by examining and testing them beforehand. This is because an AI is only as good as its training data, so if the data is not up to the mark, so will the outcomes. The practice is crucial to ensuring the ethical standards of AI implementation.

While AI in the automotive industry has much to offer, the technology is still surrounded by challenges. Businesses must consider the potential roadblocks and risks that might surface as they implement artificial intelligence techniques.

Self-driving cars and potential challenges
Source: ELE Times

Data Privacy and Security

The data analyzed by AI-powered vehicles is rather personal. It can be video footage or geolocation data, for example. To approach it ethically, it is ideal for businesses to exercise regulatory frameworks like the European GDPR.

Skill Development and Workforce Impact

The rapid growth of AI in the automobile industry has led to a fierce demand for highly skilled professionals. The industry seeks experts with the technical skills to develop, implement, and manage vehicle AI systems. Moreover, the evolving trends will require professionals to learn and adapt to thrive continuously. You can check out some of the courses at Analytics Vidhya to get ahead of the curve. These courses cover everything from NLP to computer vision, ML to AI, and more.

Edge Computing and AI at the Edge

Edge computing relies heavily on computing resources, such as in-vehicle systems and roadside infrastructure. The limited computational power can obstruct the real-time processing of datasets. Moreover, edge computing can also be prone to bandwidth limitations, especially in the case of real-time communication requirements. Therefore, ensuring data transmission and management efficiency is essential to overcome these challenges.

Integration with Smart City Infrastructure

As the most recent advancement, smart cities are ICT (information and communication technology)-based infrastructures. They significantly improve how different organizations within the infrastructure share information. Integration with smart city infrastructure can potentially take efficiency, communication, and management to exceed success.

However, it has challenges, such as ensuring secure networking solutions for data exchange between AI-enabled vehicles and smart city systems, standardizing protocols for vehicle-to-vehicle communication, and vehicle-to-infrastructure interoperability.

Success Stories and Case Studies

With the AI automotive trend pacing towards the driver’s seat, it is becoming increasingly crucial for automobile manufacturers to hail a strong foundation of next-gen techniques in their vehicles. While it’s interesting to witness more and more contenders innovating autonomous vehicles in the future, several industry leaders have already nailed the mark!

Real-world Examples of AI Implementation in the Automotive Industry

1. Tesla: Tesla created a stir by implementing artificial intelligence in the automotive industry. Their vehicles work on advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) and autonomous driving capabilities by utilizing AI algorithms for decision-making and driving control.

Driver Assistance Systems by Tesla
Source: TechCrunch

2. Waymo: Waymo, a subsidiary of Alphabet Inc., is known as one of the giants in autonomous driving technology. The company has successfully implemented a self-driving system that uses artificial intelligence for navigation and responding to the surrounding environment.

Self-driving cars by Waymo
Source: waymo

3. NVIDIA: NVIDIA offers AI computing platforms and technologies to automobile companies. The Drive platform by the company renders artificial intelligence capabilities, including perception, mapping, and route planning to autonomous vehicles.

NVIDIA Drive Platform
Source: iot.automotive.news

4. Uber: Uber is one of the initial companies in the automotive sector to invest in AI research and development (R&D) for autonomous vehicles. The ride-giant has been actively testing AI-powered self-driving cars for a safe passenger experience.

Uber's Self-Driven Cars
Source: Business Insider

5. BMW: Furthermore, BMW uses AI in driver assistance systems, infotainment, and various aspects of their vehicles. The leading automobile company’s Intelligent Personal Assistant employs natural language processing technology to offer voice-controlled interaction and personalized experiences.

BMW's Personal Assistant
Source: BMW.co.uk

Conclusion

AI has remarkably changed the automotive industry, disrupting vehicle functionality and user experience. So far, AI in the automotive sector has been most talked about for autonomous driving technology, with companies like Tesla and Waymo taking the lead. The industry appears to tap the technology for many more advancements than driving comforts. Artificial intelligence in the automotive sector reached over US $6 billion in 2022, estimating growth at a CAGR of 55% between 2023 and 2032. Advancements in algorithms, predictive maintenance, sensor technologies, and computing power will continue to power more innovations. The industry is expected to witness a spike in deploying autonomous vehicles, safety features, and customization. Moreover, AI in the automotive sector will also fuel mobility, efficiency, cost-reduction, and intelligent transportation systems.

With advancements and future aspects in the frame, it is fair to reflect on the ethical, security, and talent factors directing the pace of AI in the automobile industry. While companies must comply with regulatory frameworks and work towards data security and privacy, finding and hiring the right talent to yield the best out of technology, adoption is as important. If you’re navigating a career path in the automotive industry, starting with AI and ML courses would be suitable. Moreover, you can opt for AI and ML BlackBelt Plus program by Analytics Vidhya to get to the bottom of the technology, gain practical knowledge by learning about real-world scenarios, applying the learnings, and more. The online certification will help you pave the way for an enhanced learning environment and make your resume shine through.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. Which AI technique is most common in the automotive industry?

A. Advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS), LiDAR, IoT, and speech recognition are the topmost techniques used in the automotive industry.

Q2. How is AI used in smart cars?

A. Smart cars are powered by artificial intelligence techniques like deep learning and computer vision that enable them to perceive the environment surrounding the vehicle and predict and avoid potential risks.

Q3. Can AI control a car?

A. AI employs many of its techniques, including computer vision and machine learning, to establish vehicle control systems. AI-enabled vehicles can detect damages, perceive surroundings, plan routes, predict road conditions, and perform many more functions that make an efficient driving experience.

Q4.How does AI detect car damage?

A. Machine learning and deep learning algorithms enable the car damage recognition system in smart cars wherein they scan the vehicle’s body and determine the damage.

avcontentteam 17 Jul 2023

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