Cars have always been about the individual. Henry Ford created a global industry on the premise that quality vehicles should be within reach of virtually everyone. But no one—even Ford himself—could have imagined how artificial intelligence (AI) will soon personalize cars, trucks and SUVs.
AI is showing up in virtually every aspect of automotive design, from driver assist features that reduce accident risk to monitoring systems that predict and identify maintenance tasks. For many, this trend will find its ultimate realization in autonomous control systems. Tesla vehicles already come fully equipped for autonomous driving—all that’s needed is regulatory approval before AI takes on driving duties.
Personalization is all about adaptation. As a leader in automotive human-machine interface (HMI) systems, we’re anticipating huge advancements in vehicle displays, as well as the features and services they incorporate, all driven by AI. Cars will become a unique reflection of its owner and their unique tastes, habits and preferences.
Safety and convenience will be at the forefront of HMI evolution. Head-up displays (HUD) powered by AI will provide augmented reality (AR) projections such as pedestrian warnings, turn-by-turn navigation, waypoint information, parking availability, charging locations and nearby dining. Smart systems will also anticipate entertainment and environmental preferences for passengers.
Vehicles will be more connected to the world around them than ever. Digital assistants (think Siri or Alexa) will soon offer navigation, nearby services and infotainment control. Using machine learning, vehicles will be able to identify the voice of each driver and occupant to facilitate instant customization. AI will also support smart home and smart office services including remote environmental control, security, shopping list generation and more. Artificial intelligence will even connect drivers to their personal calendars, taking them to their daily appointments without input or direction.
Graphical user interfaces (GUIs) will become safer, more intelligent, more attractive and more capable. Touchless controls will prevail. While many people prefer haptic interfaces, others will opt for voice or air gesture to operate systems. Eventually, the same secure facial recognition used on smartphones will find its way into in-vehicle systems to reduce vehicle theft, increase safety and even enable hands-free payments for products and services.
Remembering the preferences of drivers and passengers will be a huge aspect of vehicle AI. Auto interfaces that learn their owners and typical occupants are ideal for providing personalized experiences, while making vehicles safer and more efficient than ever.
The U.S. market, surprisingly, may not be the first to embrace all that AI has to offer. While the U.S. leads the way in autonomous vehicle technology, Asian consumers are currently more open to AI-driven convenience systems. As security and privacy concerns are addressed, this situation will likely change. In the meantime, look for AI to increase its presence in all sorts of automotive HMIs. Henry Ford, a lover of innovation, would definitely approve.