Artificial intelligence (AI) is transforming the automotive industry. It enables automakers to design and produce vehicles with greater accuracy and speed.
For example, AI can help reduce fraudulent car insurance claims by detecting questionable trends and flagging them for human review. This can save insurers billions each year.
AI is also used by modern automakers to streamline the design process through digital twins. This is done by feeding machine learning systems historical and sensor data to simulate how different designs will impact vehicle performance.
The term AI conjures images of self-driving cars, but the industry is using AI in many other ways as well. From enhancing the driver experience to automating the production line, AI is helping make cars more efficient and safer to operate.
Automakers are leveraging automation to stay competitive in a tough market environment. 54% of automakers are increasing their investment in automation to mitigate internal and external risks and drive growth.
For example, automated systems like voice recognition reduce distracted driving that leads to collisions and traffic violations. And food delivery services like Nauto use AI to keep drivers focused on the road and ensure that they’re delivering orders promptly. AI can also improve the efficiency of production lines by reducing equipment failures. Companies like KONUX feed vibration sensor data into an AI system that interprets it, separates anomalies from normal noise and can predict when equipment may fail. This can help reduce maintenance costs and prevent production delays.
While self-driving cars capture consumer imagination, artificial intelligence is having a far broader impact in the automotive industry. From design to manufacturing, supply chain management and predictive maintenance, AI is reshaping the way we build and drive vehicles.
Automakers and suppliers are faced with new challenges that have never previously presented themselves. Digitalization, connectivity, evolving powertrain technologies and shifting consumer attitudes have created new opportunities – and unprecedented pressures.
The development of advanced AI capabilities is critical to addressing these pressures. AI can help close the feedback loop between production and sales, allowing companies to better predict market demand and adjust accordingly. It can also enable new product development, improve quality assurance and enhance cybersecurity. AI can also identify microscopic errors – such as circuit board problems – that the human eye cannot detect. This is especially useful in the automotive industry where hardware generates 85-90% of vehicle value.
Auto manufacturers must retrain their workforces to train and program the complex AI systems that power autonomous vehicles. Increasingly, this work will be done by software engineers, which is why many companies are “acqui-hiring” or buying up smaller tech firms with established teams.
Another area where AI will make a significant impact is in the retraining of drivers, to avoid human error that leads to accidents. Artificial intelligence can monitor a driver’s body language and facial expressions to identify signs of drowsiness, distracted driving, or fatigue.
It can also predict when a vehicle may need maintenance or repairs, allowing automakers to optimize production schedules. This is especially useful when dealing with unpredictable or uncontrollable factors like weather, supply chain disruptions, and mobility challengers. AI can also close the feedback loop between upstream and downstream by incorporating sale and after-sale data into predictive modeling, regulating production more closely to demand. This improves efficiency and profitability, reducing inventory levels and eliminating production delays.
Automakers use AI to enhance vehicle safety and passenger experiences by integrating it with in-vehicle systems. AI is also used to improve productivity and quality by enabling robots to work alongside human employees in a more collaborative, safe and efficient way. This is known as Human-Robot Collaboration (HRC).
The automotive industry also uses AI for supply chain optimization. For example, predictive analytics can help automakers predict demand so they can optimize inventory and reduce waste.
Another exciting application of AI in the automotive industry is predictive maintenance. AI-based algorithms can analyze data from a vehicle’s sensors, instruments and cameras to detect problems before they occur. This helps auto manufacturers schedule repairs and minimize downtime.
It can even identify if a driver is experiencing fatigue, which can be a leading cause of road traffic accidents. For example, a company called AutoX has developed a system that uses facial recognition software to detect signs of yawning or drowsiness.