As development of autonomous or driverless vehicle technology gathers steam, the industry is also investing heavily in building capabilities in artificial intelligence, for that is becoming key to making a vehicle smart. The automotive landscape is set to undergo a significant transformation over the next few years, and bulk of that would be led by AI computers with deep learning software, predict experts.
Let’s look at one such prediction: last year, IHS Markit reported that the installation rate of AI-based systems in new vehicles in 2015 was 8 %, which over a period of 10 years is likely to increase to 109 %. This would primarily be driven by the use of AI systems across infotainment and autonomous vehicle applications. Shipment of AI-based units in the same period is scheduled to increase to 122 mn in 2025 from the seven million in 2015!
Clearly, the market potential is huge and automotive players are jumping into the opportunity. The opportunity is certainly not lost on software companies as well, and that’s where we have seen many new collaborative partnerships being forged globally. NVIDIA, for instance, is working with Mercedes-Benz and Audi among OEMs, Bosch and ZF among Tier 1s. Then, there is Toyota, Volvo, Google, Facebook and Tesla. Notwithstanding the dissimilar views Mark Zuckerberg and Elon Musk have on the impact AI could have on human beings, they continue to delve deeper into the realms of AI.
Talking of Bosch, for instance, the company is working on making AI one of its core competencies. It is now building a brain – an on-board computer – for vehicles equipped with AI, which will not only react faster than any human being, but will also drive more defensively. Over the next five years, Bosch will invest € 300 mn on AI, and once such development centre will be at its Bangalore R&D centre. Read about this and more in our report from the Bosch Mobility Experience event on Page 46.
The future of mobility – as is clear from mega trends globally – is electrified, connected and autonomous. And AI would largely define how the mobility sector takes shape in the years to come. Owing to growing congestion and higher stress levels in cities, consumers might be losing interest in physical ownership of cars. Experts globally fear that AI will lead to a gradual decline in the emotional connect for vehicles as well.
Deepangshu Dev Sarmah
New Delhi, August 2017