We might not have the flying cars that sci-fi movies promised us back in the day, but sooner than we expected we may have talking cars powered by artificial intelligence. Not only will AI remind us to put our seatbelts on, but it will handle a myriad of tasks from auto-drive to anti-collision protocols.
The change is happening as we engage in the discussion of AIs utility. A couple of days ago, Toyota announced it would be testing talking and self-driving cars as soon as 2020. This marks the first such announcement by a large motor company to compete with the likes of Uber, Google, and Apple, who are reportedly trying to use AI as the future of transportation.
The news was first reported by Reuters, who reported the Concept-i model of Toyota will “use artificial intelligence to interact and even talk with drivers and passengers.” The Japanese company aims to build knowledge of users’ preferences, habits, and emotions using AI and deep learning. The Concept-i model is backed by $1 billion through 2020 to develop autonomous driving and AI technology applied to transportation.
“By using AI technology, we want to expand and enhance the driving experience, making cars an object of affection again”, stated Makoto Okabe, GM of Toyota’s electric vehicles.
At its current stage of development, the Concept-i model has a cruising range of 180 miles on a single charge of its electric powered motor. This feature will be complemented by an AI intelligence that enables the car to read driver’s expressions, actions, and tone of voice. Using this information the vehicle will be able to take over driving responsibilities.
This is only one company’s push to catch up with startups and provide the future of driving with AI and Internet of Things (IoT), but Toyota is not alone. General Motors Company is investigating in AI startups towards a possible acquisition, and Ford Motor Company invested $1 billion in early 2017 for the AI startup Argo, which was founded by former Uber employees to develop self-driving technology.
So we can expect more news of autonomous in the near future.