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How Is AI Going To Transform the Auto Industry? Artificial Intelligence's impact on the auto industry spans from predictive analytics and safety innovations to eco-friendly initiatives and personalized design

By Shrabona Ghosh

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What's fuelling innovation today? The urge to replicate intelligence through synthetic measures. Technology is taking over humankind and the latest trend capturing industries is Artificial Intelligence (AI). One of the sectors which is actively implementing AI is the automotive industry: Transforming the designing, production and operation of vehicles. With AI gradually transforming the automotive sector, we are moving towards computers on wheels. The auto industry is counting on AI in the design and manufacturing of vehicles, data analytics and cost optimization.

Autonomous Driving & manufacturing

One big area that uses AI at its core is Autonomous Driving, this will truly revolutionize the way we use vehicles. Already AI is being used in many vehicles having Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS), which are already helping in accident prevention. "AI is being extensively used in the way vehicles interact with the driver and passengers. Voice assistants, connected features, features for operating lights, wipers, seats, etc. are all changing the way we interact with vehicles," said Anurag Singh, MD, Primus Partners.

AI powered solutions can improve road safety to a large extent. Using cameras and sensors, enormous amounts of data can be processed by AI algorithms, that too in real time. This propels the ability to identify the environment and instant life saving decisions can be made. AI, thus significantly enhances safety on the road and reduces accidents. "Connectivity further helps in improving the overall safety by interacting with other vehicles and the environment. It also has the ability to minimize distractions, comprehend driving patterns and enhance user experience," said Prashanth Doreswamy, president & CEO- Continental India.

With advanced robots, predictive analytics, supply chain, mass customization, assembly lines etc, AI is being used in automobile manufacturing. AI also helps in predictive maintenance and provides a foresight on when components need to be replaced. This can help in a more cost-effective, pre-emptive maintenance with lesser downtimes. AI systems can help detect and prevent defects, optimize workflows, reduce waste, and assist with design and innovation.

There are, of course, many robots and machines already on the job in automotive factories around the world, but these machines generally perform a set of actions in a limited number of

scenarios. AI is revolutionizing the manufacturing process in several key ways, ushering in a new era of efficiency and innovation on factory floors. The manufacturing sector, traditionally slow to adopt new technologies, is now realizing the transformative potential of AI.

Data source: Statista

Cost optimization & data analytics

AI boosts productivity and has the ability to cut costs as it can build cars, optimize supply chain, have robots and COBOTS on the shop floor, and enhance performance with sensors, design, and post-production processes. AI can also be leveraged in data analytics, fleet management, and Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMRs) to enhance safety and connectivity. "Even after a vehicle is sold, AI is helping in making the after sales, spares, insurance, maintenance etc. processes more reliable and efficient," MD, Primus Partners, added.

The traditional reliance on conventional methods in car dealerships for advertising, customer service, inspection, repairs, and management are swiftly being replaced by the transformative impact of AI. From virtual assistants who anticipate customer needs to chatbots that handle basic inquiries, AI is revolutionizing the customer experience.

AI also helps in empowering customers to book services, track maintenance, and receive live updates and estimates. AI facilitates real-time communication with customers, enabling companies to serve them better and more efficiently. AI-powered data analysis assists in identifying potential leads and increasing conversion rates. "Additionally, we have been able to streamline communication and provide personalized experiences to our patrons. We leverage technology for targeting potential customers and digital innovations across sales and service channels. Staying ahead of the curve in the automotive industry is crucial, and we actively plan to employ new technological developments to provide customers with the best possible experience," said Aryaman Thakker, executive director, Group Landmark.

Furthermore, AI creates personalized offers and assists in retargeting customer data based on the information received facilitating upselling and cross-selling of vehicles, "This has helped us to evaluate the overall customer satisfaction and loyalty to new heights for Group Landmark," Thakker added.

Digital transformation

Advances in computing power will give machines abilities to understand and organize unstructured data such as photos and speech, to recognize patterns, and to learn from past experiences how to improve future performance.

The use of AI is an integral part of the digital transformation at the BMW Group. The company is already using AI along the entire value chain, generating added value for customers, products, employees and processes - be it 3D visualization, development of newer automotive technologies, and virtualization within the BMW iFactory strategy model – Lean, Green and Digital. Virtual production in Plant Debrecen will be a revolution in factory planning. All BMW plants will have a digital twin! "With so many new developments, one of the most important questions at hand is to match the pace of learning with new developments. BMW Group's company wide internal 'Digital Boost' training program covers transformative technologies of digitalization. It is designed to enhance our associates' technical knowledgebase, increase confidence in technological tools, and ultimately ensures the participation of all our employees in contributing towards the company's digital future," said Vikram Pawah, President of BMW India.

When it comes to implementing AI technology in the vehicles, it's not clear yet if it will play the same role as classic automotive technologies like ride, handling, and powertrain in helping auto companies differentiate their products. AI's impact spans from predictive analytics and safety innovations to eco-friendly initiatives and personalized design. However, challenges like safety concerns and regulatory complexities must be addressed. Despite these hurdles, AI is steering the automotive industry towards a future where vehicles are safer, more efficient, and deeply personalized, redefining the way we drive and interact with our cars.

Shrabona Ghosh

Correspondent

A journalist with a cosmopolitan mindset. I lead a project called 'Corporate Innovations' wherein I cover corporates across verticals and try to tell stories on innovations. Apart from this, I write industry pieces on FMCGs, auto, aviation, 5G and defense. 
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