Home Connected Car Self-Driving AI will change auto industry far beyond autonomous vehicles, panelists say

AI will change auto industry far beyond autonomous vehicles, panelists say

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TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. — Artificial intelligence and wireless connectivity are changing more than just self-driving cars.

At a panel at the CAR Management Briefing Seminars on Thursday, executives discussed the transformations coming inside and outside the car. While artificial intelligence and connectivity will accelerate the development of autonomous vehicles, they will also bring efficiencies to dealerships, supply chain and office operations.

“Artificial intelligence is transforming all processes, it’s a whole new way of computing” said Danny Shapiro, director of automotive at Nvidia.

The chipmaker has been supplying automakers with an artificial intelligence-powered super computer for self-driving cars. It’s now extending that technology to manufacturers’ business operations. In June, Nvidia said it was partnering with Volkswagen to develop these new applications outside the vehicle, enhancing sales, human relations and other operations.

German supplier ZF Friedrichshafen also sees new vehicle technologies increasing safety across its business, using predictive analytics to perform timely maintenance and digitalizing the shop floor to minimize workplace risks.

“We want to go from safety inside the car to safety everywhere,” Mamatha Chamarthi, ZF’s chief digital officer, said during the panel discussion on Thursday.

Inside the car

Audi sees change primarily coming from inside the car during the next 10 years, according to Anupam Malhotra, Audi of America’s director of connected vehicles. He added that retail outlets will need to move away from brick-and-mortar operations and toward digitalization to attract a younger demographic of customers.

“Clearly, Audi sees the industry changing in many significant ways in the next 10 years,” Malhotra told Automotive News before Thursday’s discussion. “The total industry of transportation today is going to change. So how should we think about transportation in the future?

“On the technology side, today you talk about fueling. Tomorrow it will be charging. Today it’s range anxiety. Tomorrow it’s range management.”

Society will also have changing perceptions of transportation, a future reality that will affect automakers and retailers, he said.

“The whole idea of transportation as something that you ‘own,’ or hold onto, and only use when you need it — as opposed to something that you have access to when you need it — that is going to have to change,” Malhotra said.

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