Smart Cars with AI: The future of urban transport is here

By Suchetana
Jan 28, 2018

Dashboard of a Smart Car from Samsung

Jack Ma may have said that Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a threat to us at the recent World Economic Forum at Davos, but car companies are pouring big bucks into AI-driven smart car designs. According to telecom giant Ericsson, smart cars with AI are here to stay and will revolutionise the way we travel.

Ericsson mentioned in a recent report that the advent of 5G technology will make roads safer by enhancing vehicle-to-vehicle communication. Sensors embedded in roads, railways and airport runways will make vehicle-to-infrastructure communication smoother as well.

While this may seem like the stuff of our wildest sci-fi fantasies, the reality is closer than ever. This January onwards, self-driving shuttle buses have begun plying one of the busiest areas of Stockholm. Travelling at 24 km per hour, these buses offer a glimpse into the future of urban transport.

Predictably, carmakers are competing against each other to offer the latest technology to customers. At the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2018 – the global stage for innovation – automotive solution provider Nvidia announced partnerships with several carmakers, including biggies Audi and Volkswagen.

Audi has already showcased an autonomous test car at CES this year, but with Nvidia’s AI solutions, the learning capability of smart cars will be enhanced further. 

The new models, with inbuilt computing hardware and software, will hit the markets by 2020.

Smart car dashboard

Nvidia has also partnered with Volkswagen to add ‘intelligent co-pilot’ systems. VW will use Nvidia’s Drive IX Intelligent Experience platform to enable a wide range of features, including voice and facial recognition, gesture control, and safety warnings.

Another automaker that is breaking new grounds in this area is Tesla. It recently introduced TeslaBot, the virtual assistant synced with the Tesla models S and X. The new bot is similar to Tesla’s native app, but offers more in terms of allowing users to interact with their car from a desktop or a phone.

In sync with current technology trends, Uber has already tested its first batch of self-driving smart cars in 2016. It has also formed the Uber AI Labs to develop self-driving cars with the help of top scientists and engineers.

It seems the days of rude drivers and parking tickets are going to be over soon. Let’s hitch a ride to the future already!

Text: Suchetana Mukhopadhyay