This article is part of the special topic "Future Mobility".

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AI will be central in the new mobility era, and exponentially so.
AI will be central in the new mobility era, and exponentially so.
( Source: ©peshkov -

Artificial Intelligence How AI shapes the future of global mobility

Author / Editor: Jason Unrau / Erika Granath

While the path to the future of mobility is paved with uncertainty, one thing is guaranteed: AI will be central in the new mobility era, and exponentially so. In fact, the technology is already impacting the way people move around heavily.

Today, advancements in artificial intelligence (AI) are seemingly announced daily. The functions and technology arising from AI have far-reaching implications, especially in mobility and how people will move in the future.

What's Artificial Intelligence?

At its core, artificial intelligence is a branch of computer science centered on developing technology and machines capable of performing tasks that would ordinarily require human intelligence. In mobility, AI focuses on developing applications to improve or replace human input, especially were safety is concerned.

7 ways AI impacts mobility today

AI in mobility today would've sounded like far-fetched sci-fi in the mid-20th Century. Even most of today's world's well-informed, tech-savvy people struggle to wrap their heads around AI's collected power. AI reaches further than most people realize and impacts almost everyone's mobility experience daily. Let's look at seven examples.

Intelligent Manufacturing

In automotive factories worldwide, single-task robots are being replaced with Automated Guided Vehicles (AVG) that can complete complex routines. Not only are they able to perform a routine, but the machine can alter its course or process based on variables—say, a vehicle placement is further forward, or a pathway is under construction.

Artificial intelligence powers robots in painting and manufacturing processes as well as in supply management. With AI, it's possible to trace every vehicle component's origin, making it more precise and cost-effective for manufacturers to issue vehicle recall campaigns.

Driver Monitoring

BMW, Cadillac, Toyota, Lexus, and other carmakers have integrated a driver monitoring system in select vehicles. This AI-powered technology uses cameras inside the vehicle to detect the driver's eye movement. If the driver doesn't appear to be attentive or nodding off, the system will warn the driver with visual and audible cues. AI-powered driver-assist systems can even respond with brake application. Amazingly, AI can identify patterns in each driver's unique eye movements for accurate driver monitoring activity.

ADAS Systems

Advanced driver-assist systems (ADAS) are technologies developed to make operating a vehicle safer and more convenient, reducing or eliminating human effort. With a machine capable of making safe operating decisions in certain circumstances, AI has drastically improved vehicle safety through these systems.

Sophisticated ADAS systems include Ford's Parallel and Perpendicular Park Assist and Cadillac's Auto Lane Change. Other popular ADAS systems are adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, and collision mitigation systems that are widespread across nearly all manufacturers.

Telematics for Traffic

If you've ever used the Waze app or checked your smartphone's maps for directions and traffic conditions, you're familiar with at least one aspect of vehicle telematics. AI in connected mobility solutions makes it possible to get a real-time traffic congestion report or a forecast of the traffic situation alter in the day. You can, in other words, hank AI and machine learning for solutions helping you to navigate around traffic jams.

Vehicle Insurance

Pay-as-you-drive insurance has increased in popularity in recent years. Insurance providers can track a vehicle's time on the road, driving behaviors, and assess factors like navigating high-risk areas through an OBDII device plugged into the vehicle. Telematics is heavily at play with this type of insurance product, depending on AI to communicate vehicle usage to the provider.

Adapted Marketing

If your low fuel light is on, you may see recommendations on your infotainment system for nearby fuel stations. When it's nearing lunch or dinner time, suggestions for places to dine may scroll across the screen. Personalized or adapted marketing uses machine learning to discover trends in everyday life and targets you in predictable moments.

Vehicle Autonomy

Every level of autonomous driving requires AI, including aforementioned ADAS systems. A huge amount of data is produced in autonomous vehicles—estimated to be as much as 4TB per hour—and only the extremely powerful computing system like AI can process the required data quickly enough to provide real-time responses.

What AI might look like in the future

In artificial intelligence, the surface has just been scratched, and the possibilities are almost as limitless as you can imagine.

In the future, it's fathomable that AI in mobility could take your car to the service center for repairs by an AI-powered Automated Guided Vehicle. Your Google or Apple calendar's entries could be used to predict and schedule transportation options autonomously.

Pilotless aircraft for commuting isn't just a pipedream but a technology under development. While much about the future of mobility is still uncertain, one thing is guaranteed: AI will be central in the new mobility era, and exponentially so. It's an exciting time to be alive.