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How AI is set to reshape the auto sector

Amrita Nair-Ghaswalla | Updated on September 06, 2019 Published on September 06, 2019

Big changes are bound to happen in India too

The Indian automotive industry is in the midst of an interesting phase in vehicle telematics, says Amit Ray, Managing Director, Data and Analytics, Protiviti Member Firm for India. Protiviti, a global consulting and audit firm, advises many Indian auto majors in the technology space. On the present pace of disruption, which is “allowing unexpected reshaping of the industry in several ways”, Ray says there is no reason for India to be an exception.

Electrification, autonomous and connected vehicles as well as shared mobility are some of the key trends underlying this market shift along with electrification, he adds.

Ray also believes that some of India’s major road-safety challenges can potentially be resolved by autonomous vehicles (AVs). “While AVs offer a potential to reduce traffic congestion, they can largely improve safety and fuel efficiency,” he adds.

Some advanced driver-assistance systems features such as electronic stability programme, parking assistance, anti-lock braking, etc, have already made their mark in the market. Ray says the logistics and transportation sector are realising that telematics and the use of artificial intelligence (AI) help improve their business processes and increase efficiency.

The global automobile industry is highly data-driven, offering great potential for AI to create an intelligent ecosystem. “Overall, consumer benefit is at the core of these advancements, as companies continue working to establish and maintain a high level of customer loyalty,” adds Ray.

Ford and Volkswagen have teamed up to invest approximately $7 billion in autonomous vehicle platform Argo AI, which will give each of them the chance to independently integrate the self-driving system into their own vehicles.

Till late last year, Honda was working with Waymo, owned by Google’s parent company Alphabet, and was looking to have cars with automated driving capabilities by 2020. Talks have since faltered. Parallelly, Honda agreed to invest $750 million in Cruise, GM’s self-driving car company.

Renault-Nissan, working with Microsoft, is aiming for a fully driverless car by 2025. Volvo, working with Uber, has a goal of 2021. Hyundai, prioritising affordability, has announced its goals for autonomous freeway driving by 2020 and the more complex navigation of urban driving by 2030.

The benefits of AI are being realised in functions that use massive amounts of data and require judgment. However, most businesses are bound to apply advanced AI to practically every function, including marketing and customer experience, product development, risk management and business development.

According to Ray, AI is the guiding force behind the transformation taking place in the auto industry today. “GPS monitoring, intelligent cruise controls, continually detecting drivers’ and cars performance, passenger alert system, automatic braking etc are some of the features offered by AI,” he adds.

Ray then cites the example of hybrid cars that automatically offer the optimal balance between the use of fossil fuel and battery power. On the one hand, the braking system is designed in a way to convert mechanical energy produced (while applying brakes) to charge the batteries.

On the other hand, batteries supply power to the wheels when necessary, ensuring electrical energy is converted back to mechanical. “This whole conversion cycle is fine-tuned by sophisticated AI algorithms,” he says.

Published on September 06, 2019

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