Unlocking value and automation through Artificial Intelligence (AI) is top of mind for business leaders today. As organizations across industries look to differentiate themselves and grow, technology leadership continues to be a key driver.
Kicking off our latest trends and talent implications series, Artificial Intelligence Across Industries, we take an in-depth look into the automotive sector as it relates to AI and the talent that organizations need to navigate an ever-evolving industry.
Sal DiFranco, Managing Partner, Global Technology; and Patricia Watters, Managing Partner, Global Automotive & Future Mobility, explain how AI is impacting the automotive industry today, where it’s going in the future, and what organizations need to be aware of in terms of talent implications.
How is AI impacting the automotive industry today?
- Improving Safety: AI and Machine Learning (ML) are at the core of autonomous and semi-autonomous driving capabilities, allowing the vehicle to learn driving patterns and detect pedestrians, obstacles, and vehicles to avoid accidents. AI works with the processing of real-time data sent from an intricate array of sensors and cameras in the vehicle to activate collision avoidance, emergency braking, and other driver warning systems. These features and many others make the driving experience safer for all passengers and pedestrians and reduce driving fatalities.
- Optimizing Vehicle Performance: AI is used to optimize vehicle performance and fuel consumption by analyzing data from a vehicle’s sensors, GPS, and other sources to adjust and improve acceleration, handling, and other performance metrics. AI can monitor vehicle systems such as engine performance, oil levels, tire pressure, and more. With data provided by sensors and algorithms, AI can predict when a vehicle is likely to require maintenance and analyze when critical components are about to fail. This will reduce the chance of breakdowns and the cost of complicated repairs by catching minor issues before they turn into big problems. Ideally, this extends the vehicle lifespan and reduces the cost of ownership for drivers.
- Understanding Consumer Behavior: AI is a powerful tool for automakers to understand consumer buying behaviors and patterns, allowing them to market directly to consumer preferences. Companies can analyze customer online search history, purchase behavior, and social media activity, and use AI algorithms to identify patterns and predict future buying behavior. Marketing messages and offers can be tailored to individual customers based on their predicted preferences, allowing automakers and dealers to be very targeted with the spend of their marketing dollars. AI dramatically changes the need for mass advertising and allows automakers and dealers to target specific demographics, lifestyle interests, and behaviors.
AI is used to optimize vehicle performance and fuel consumption by analyzing data from a vehicle’s sensors, GPS, and other sources to adjust and improve acceleration, handling, and other performance metrics.
Where is AI being applied today and into the future?
- Augmenting the Human Driver: Though AI is not fully mature, automakers are prioritizing it to augment the human driver in terms of safety and accident prevention. As the technology matures, we will see new applications in in-vehicle assistance (think: next generation of OnStar) as well as how AI interfaces with humans from an infotainment and personalization perspective.
- Improving Supply Chain Efficiency: The use of AI to improve the efficiency of the automotive supply chain is another compelling application for the technology. By analyzing inventory, scheduling, and market demand data, and making predictions about future demand, AI can help automakers adjust their production schedules in real-time to address ever-changing market conditions. This real-time data can lead to more accurate predictions about demand which, in turn, will help automakers and suppliers optimize inventory, level out production schedules, and improve efficiency of operations.
- Exploring Human-to-Robot Collaboration: Another field of study regarding AI is human-to-robot collaboration (HRC). The auto industry is particularly interested in HRC as it can lead to significant improvements in productivity, quality, and safety on the factory floor. While robots have long been used for difficult and demanding tasks such as body metal welding as well as installing heavy components (i.e., windshields or sunroofs) or performing intricate assembly operations, AI-powered robots are better able to work alongside human workers to perform assembly or manufacturing tasks.
- Enhancing the Future through Data: The common denominator in all these applications of AI is the output of high-quality datasets synthesized from millions of data inputs to enhance the future of the industry and the consumer experience. These technologies require the harvesting of high-quality training data constructed from millions of vehicles in real-time. Automakers are relying heavily on key partners with semiconductor, software, and tech giants to accelerate the development of AI and push the boundaries.
This real-time data can lead to more accurate predictions about demand which, in turn, will help automakers and suppliers optimize inventory, level out production schedules, and improve efficiency of operations.
What do organizations need to be aware of in terms of talent implications?
With investment and development on the rise, AI’s impact on the overall automotive industry will continue to grow. From helping people choose the perfect car for their needs and preferences to improving their driving experience, the automotive industry will showcase how AI and ML will dramatically transform an industry.
Recruiting talent who understands the impact of AI and other transformative technologies on the business model may mean looking outside of the industry for specific experience and leadership skills needed. Hiring leaders that will drive a shift in overall culture, speed, pace, and velocity to market that automotive has not seen yet will be critical. As vehicles become increasingly more like mobile devices in terms of software and functionality, hardware and mechanical components have the potential to become more commoditized. This fact alone changes the business model for many auto suppliers, requiring leaders with technology-oriented insights and expertise to drive the changes needed to forge ahead.
Hiring leaders that will drive a shift in overall culture, speed, pace, and velocity to market that automotive has not seen yet will be critical.
Navigating an Evolving Industry Armed with Forward-looking Leadership
From improving safety and supply chain efficiency to optimizing vehicle performance to understanding consumer buying behavior, the impact of AI on the automotive industry cannot be understated. With the right leadership in place, automakers using AI will enhance the future of the automotive industry.
Reach out to us to discuss how AI is impacting your business and our recommendations for engaging top talent.