Artificial intelligence, if it wasn’t getting enough ink in the press before, certainly is getting its share of attention now. Elon Musk, the genius billionaire behind Tesla, made his concerns known earlier this month that the cause of the next world war could likely be artificial intelligence.
It’s not that world leaders will bring us into a catastrophic worldwide calamity, but that artificial intelligence (AI), if not contained, could pull us in that direction.
That might be somewhat controversial and it’s not what most people are talking about, especially consumers, even though headlines certainly have jumped on the conversation. Rather, for automobile manufacturers, auto dealers and car enthusiasts, AI is often looked at as the future of the industry. In fact, Gartner has estimated that 250 million cars will be “connected” on the road in just a few years.
The fast growth of these connected cars hinges largely on data services, which is estimated by consulting firm McKinsey to be worth $1.5 trillion by 2030. Design is still important, in fact, the car we see on the road in 2025, just a short eight years away, will likely have design elements that differ wildly from what we see today. However, it’s the fact that cars will increasingly become a mobile computer that is most intriguing.
Fed From the Cloud
Make no mistake about it, computing technology is fast making its way into the forefront of tomorrow’s automobiles. Sensors are the catalyst, and the cost of producing them and making them standard in automobiles is dropping. These sensors, dozens of which will be short-range throughout the vehicle, will gather reams of data that can offer an AI-fueled reaction.
It’s often said that as more vehicles enter the roadway with these sensors, the information will be shared, building up AI capabilities rapidly and exponentially. This involves peer-to-peer, vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure processes – all shared through the cloud. Furthermore, the common thought right now is that the cloud will be the silo through which all information, processing and applications will be utilized and shared.
Not Quite Self-Driving Yet
We aren’t going to be pushing cars on our lot that allow operators to kick back and read a book or take a nap while they cruise down the interstate at 75 mph, at least not yet. Fully autonomous cars, even though there are versions of them out there now, are still some years away from being available as a standard offering.
What we are looking at now and in the immediate future are more features that utilize AI for a safer and more comfortable driving experience.
What improvements have you noticed over the last five years in automobile engineering and technology, and what do you see your customer base looking for in the future?