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Here's how A.I. is about to make your car really smart

Here's how A.I. is about to make your car really smart

The installation rates for AI in cars will go from 8% last year to 109% in 2025

The number of intelligence (AI) systems used in infotainment and advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) systems will jump from 7 million in 2015 to 122 million by 2025, according to a new IHS Technology report.

IHS's Automotive Electronics Roadmap Report found the install rate of AI-based systems in new vehicles was just 8% in 2015, and the vast majority were focused on speech recognition, according to IHS. However, that number is forecast to rise to 109% in 2025, as there will be multiple AI systems of various types installed in many cars.

"An artificial-intelligence system continuously learns from experience and by its ability to discern and recognize its surroundings," Luca De Ambroggi, IHS Technology's principal analyst for automotive semiconductors, said in a statement. "It learns, as human beings do, from real sounds, images and other sensory inputs. The system recognizes the car's environment and evaluates the contextual implications for the moving car."

audi a7 autonomous car Audi

A prototype Audi A7 with self-driving technology is seen during testing on the A9 autobahn in Germany in May 2016.

AI-based systems will grow to become standard in new vehicles over the next five years -- especially in these two categories:

  1. Infotainment human-machine interface, including speech recognition, gesture recognition (such as handwriting recognition), eye tracking and driver monitoring, virtual assistance and natural language interfaces.
  2. ADAS and autonomous vehicles, including camera-based machine vision systems, radar-based detection units, driver condition evaluation and sensor fusion engine control units (ECU).

As in-vehicle infotainment systems and ADAS increase in complexity, Ambroggi said, there is a growing need for hardware and software that support artificial intelligence and can emulate the functions of the human brain.

In ADAS, deep learning -- which mimics human neural networks -- presents several advantages over traditional algorithms; it is also a key milestone on the road to fully autonomous vehicles, IHS stated in its report.

"For example, deep learning allows detection and recognition of multiple objects, improves perception, reduces power consumption, supports object classification, enables recognition and prediction of actions, and will reduce development time of ADAS systems," IHS's report stated.

By 2020, Gartner predicts, there will be 250 million cars connected to each other and to the infrastructure around them via Wi-Fi systems that will allow vehicles to communicate with each other and the roadways.

As the amount of information being fed into IVI units or telematics systems grows, vehicles will be able to capture and share not only internal systems status and location data, but also changes in surroundings in real time, according to Gartner analyst Thilo Koslowski.

Autonomous truck self-driving semi-trailer Daimler

Daimler unveiled its autonomous 18-wheeler last year during a ceremony at the Hoover Dam. The Freightliner Inspiration Truck, a concept truck, underwent extensive testing, Daimler said, before the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles granted it a license to operate on public roads in the state. Last year, the truck was driven more than 10,000 miles during a test in Germany.

Earlier this month, Gil Pratt, CEO of Toyota Research Institute, said the vast majority of mainstream vehicles adopting autonomous driving features will be controlled by ADAS or "guardian angels" that learn your driving behaviors and new road conditions and how to react to them over time.

Speaking at the New England Motor Press Association Technology Conference at MIT, Pratt said auto makers are more focused on assisting drivers for years to come instead of producing fully autonomous vehicles that take the steering wheel from drivers.

A lot of the discussion among automakers and within their R&D organizations involve how much control the car should have.

For example, Pratt said, your car may someday warn you several times about a particularly dangerous driving habit you have before taking control of the wheel.

"If you love to drive, the idea of a chauffeur is not fun," Pratt said. "Driver skills are ignored with a chauffeur; with guardian angel technology, you're augmenting human driving skills."

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