in Blog

July 05, 2022

10 ways that AI influences the automotive industry


Edwin Lisowski

CSO & Co-Founder

Reading time:

7 minutes

The automotive industry is always quick to harness new technologies to introduce efficient, inventive, and safe cars into the market. A look at the annals of history shows how far the car industry has come; from steam-powered cars to gasoline-powered vehicles and now self-autonomous and electric-powered cars. Today, AI technology is at the forefront of success in the car industry.

AI is transforming the automotive industry in many ways, from enabling self-driving cars to transforming vehicle manufacturing and driving experience on the road. Consumers display an increasing fondness for AI-enhanced vehicle driving systems. Thus, the automotive AI market is projected to grow tremendously in the coming years. According to a report by Global Market Insights Inc, the value of the automotive AI market will reach $12 billion by 2026. [1]

That being said, here are 10 ways of how you can use AI in the automotive industry. At the end of the article, we will also say a few words about the future of AI in the automotive industry.

Self-driving cars

Self-driving cars are the new Holy Grail in the automotive industry. AI-powered technologies, including natural language processing, deep learning neural networks, and gesture control features, are a great enabler of these autonomous vehicles. They act as the brains behind self-driving cars, with or without a human driver on board.

Tesla is a manufacturing company synonymous with electric vehicles. The company implements artificial intelligence technologies in its electric cars to make them autonomous. For example, the autopilot feature typical of Tesla motors is a favorite for most buyers. In fact, it made Tesla the fastest-growing brand worldwide in 2021. [2] Drivers can switch to autopilot mode when they feel tired or dizzy and benefit from the advanced driver assistance system.

AI powers the autopilot neural network responsible for the Autopilot feature in Tesla cars. This neural network handles everything, from path-planning to controlling and identifying entities on the road to avoid crashes. [3]

Read more about Artificial intelligence in self-driving cars

Voice assistants

You’re probably familiar with voice assistants while using your smartphone. AI technology allows Smartphones to understand human voice commands and respond accordingly. Voice assistants are also in use in the automotive industry.

Almost 125 million drivers in the US use voice control technology in vehicles today. [4] Drivers can issue voice commands to in-car voice assistants to perform different hands-free tasks, such as:

  • Placing and receiving hands-free calls
  • Receiving information from voice assistants about the nearest restaurant or gas station
  • Operating the radio streaming service
  • Controlling in-car temperatures, door locks, windshield wiper operation, and more
  • Finding available parking slots
  • Setting a destination and receiving directions while en route

car dashboard

Facial recognition systems

A facial recognition system uses AI technology to identify the individual’s facial attributes and determine whether to grant access or not. Car manufacturers like Porsche and Hyundai have adopted facial recognition systems to unlock their cars. [5] This feature allows car owners to restrict access to the car only to authorized persons. It is more secure than a traditional key fob.

Land Rover and Jaguar car manufacturers use facial recognition technology to control various in-car variables. For example, the tech can sense the driver’s facial expressions and automatically adjust the AC, lighting, and radio stations. [6]

It might be interesting for you: Using Artificial Intelligence (AI) for Image Recognition 

Research and development of new solutions

AI’s ability to think like humans and imitate their actions makes it a key component in the research and development of new solutions in the automotive industry.

General Motors, for example, uses AI-based algorithms and cloud computing to explore several permutations of a part design to make their vehicles lighter and more efficient.

Recently, they created a seat bracket design that is 40% lighter and 20% stronger compared to the original part. It also merges 8 different parts into a single 3D-printed component. [7] This way, artificial intelligence is being used to bring inventive solutions to car manufacturing.

Research and development of new solutions

Quality control

Artificial intelligence has the inherent ability to analyze massive datasets and draw valuable insights. AI-based hardware, for example, can visually examine and provide comprehensive quality control for different products. These include machined components, texture metal surfaces, painted car bodies, and more. Thus, car makers can prevent defective car parts from leaving the factories.

For example, Audi employs computer vision to identify small fissures in the car’s sheet metal. So, even at the manufacturing stage, it mitigates the risk of faulty parts leaving the production facility.

Assembly automation

The automotive industry always seeks to achieve efficiency on the production line, especially with workers susceptible to fatigue or safety risks.

Industrial robots first came into the picture in the 1960s. They can perform tasks like windshield installation, screw driving, and wheel mounting. Artificial intelligence technologies have brought a new generation of robotic solutions to work side by side with humans at car assembly plants. These are called collaborative bots (co-bots).

Assembly automation

AI-driven co-bots are smaller than typical industrial robots. They use sensors to prevent collisions and injuries at the worksite. And they can complete myriad tasks, from moving heavy components and assembly to conducting tests in the factory. Automating repetitive assembly tasks eradicates human errors.

Driving behavior analysis

Installing computer vision-powered cameras in the car can analyze the driver’s behavior. For example, Tesla cars monitor the driver’s eyes to check for fatigue and prevent them from dozing off during travel.

These AI-powered cameras can detect unusual activities, including:

  • Driver fatigue
  • Driver distraction
  • Cell phone usage
  • Low blinking rate
  • Falling asleep

The system then alerts the distracted driver to stop the car on the side of the road, which helps avoid accidents.

Predictive car maintenance

Modern cars will alert you when something goes wrong- oil leak, brake pads, engine light. AI adds even more possibilities through predictive maintenance.

It leverages tons of data gathered from sensors and service records to analyze and detect car problems before the “check engine” light turns on. This forecast helps eliminate safety hazards and avoid expensive repairs.

Predictive car maintenance

Streamline auto supply chains

A typical passenger car comprises thousands of parts that originate from different manufacturers across the globe. Thus, automotive manufacturers have highly complex supply chains that could suffer significant financial losses in the event of potential breakdowns or delays.

AI provides three essential advantages in alleviating core issues that lead to supply chain failures: speed, transparency, and predictive ability. Car makers now rely on AI for greater visibility and real-time tracking of the shipping process of car components. AI also speeds up things by automating requests for components, labor, machinery, and repairs.

Moreover, automotive manufacturers can rely on AI-based tools to predict manufacturing downtime. This helps avoid unplanned and costly disruptions in the supply chain.

Personalized marketing and sales

Today, many car dealerships leverage AI to offer personalized marketing to customers. AI gathers customer data from all touchpoints, including the search engine, website, mobile apps, social media, and more. It then analyzes the data and narrows it down to the specific car features, make, and model that a specific customer would want based on their search intent.

The sales representative can then recommend a few car options to the potential customer that matches the search criteria they were looking for. Thus, each car recommendation is intentional, relevant, and personalized.

Final thoughts on AI in the automotive industry

The automotive industry has benefited a great deal from the various transformations brought about by AI. Today, various car brands introduce new cars with AI-powered innovations like assisted driving, voice assistants, and facial recognition security.

Customers will prioritize car function over form in the future of AI in the automotive industry. They won’t focus on the best car but on the best service. And artificial intelligence will help car makers meet those customer demands. Perhaps we will also see new business models and services leveraging AI.

Do you want to implement AI in your automotive company? Take a look at our AI consulting services.


Artificial Intelligence