Artificial intelligence and data science are two key technologies that form the processes of the automotive industry. In this article, Joseph Zulick, Manager at MRO Electric and Supply, explores how artificial intelligence is projected to influence the industry in the future.
In 2017 Udacity selected a group of 18 talented engineers (out of hundreds of applicants) to form the Self-Racing Cars team. Udacity now offer the first self-driving Nanodegree program. The program was a built-in partnership with Uber, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Nvidia. After huge success, Udacity introduced another Nanodegree program for beginners. Finally, universities have introduced courses for the automotive industry.
So, if AI has existed since 1950 why is it only mattering to the automotive industry now? There are two answers for this question. A short answer is that due to the rise of deep learning and greater computing power, and the availability of large amounts of data in the cloud. A more detailed answer is a reflection of all these technologies together.
There has been a huge advance in machine learning algorithms due to deep learning; moreover, with AI as a rising common technology platform, the automotive industry is set to test various changes in the coming years. As several issues are now being considered during the manufacturing process in terms of AI, vehicles become more integrated, complex systems. Plus, new functions are added according to standards.
According to an IHS report, in 2015, the install rate of AI-based systems in new vehicles was only eight percent; this number is expected to increase to 109% in 2025. This massive increase in the use of AI systems in vehicles will be standardised across autonomous vehicle applications. By the end of 2015, Tesla's founder, Elon Musk, announced investment amounting to $1bn in AI research and development. The aim of this research is to develop connected, autonomous and AI-based systems that are able to perform optimum decisions in several situations.
Through techniques such as IoT and deep learning, researchers were able to develop a system that would help in decision making around the car. While AI automotive applications that involve self-driving cars receive the most attention, this is only one of many uses cases for AI in the automotive industry.
AI will revolutionise the automotive industry. Huge investment has occurred from technology leaders such as Google, Tesla, Uber, and major automotive companies in this domain. However, It is not purely an opportunity for huge companies - startups have a role to play as well. Moreover, new opportunities and job vacancies will appear and academic courses will shine in this domain. This reflects the importance and needs in this domain for developers and software engineers alike.