How AI is shaping the auto industry

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is everywhere. It’s no surprise that PWC in its latest study is predicting that AI could contribute up $15.7 trillion1 to the global economy by 2030.

Naturally AI has been embraced by those in the automotive sector, an industry that has always been at the forefront of everything that’s up and coming in technology. The ‘big’ trend that’s being raved about, autonomous cars, is reliant on AI to operate and it’s this topic that has dominated much of the conversation when discussing AI and the auto industry.

Whilst we’re not at a fully autonomous stage yet – we’re not far away and that’s exciting. But AI doesn’t have to be at iRobot stage for it to have an effect on this industry. In fact, we can already see how the technology is having a positive impact on both consumers and businesses.

It’s giving consumers an always on, real time service. People want to be able to consume what they want, where they want, when they want. At Vanarama our AI Chatbot allows for this to happen all via Facebook Messenger – a place where they’re attention already is, on a platform that they trust. AI enables customer engagement to go beyond the standard ‘office hours’.

It’s not just convenience that Artificial Intelligence is enhancing – it’s also raising customer expectations by offering a supreme tailored experience. AI is opening up the number of options consumers can get with vehicle selection by expanding lender and dealer networks. iVan for example is capable of scanning over 140 million accurate marketplace deals in real time, before finding the best deals specifically for each customer.

A greater consumer experience is great news for businesses and so AI is winning with them too. The manufacturers are embracing it because its enhancing driving experiences and revenue. The models they can produce by investing in Artificial Intelligence are second to none. Impact detection makes driving safer. Smart amenities make vehicles comfortable and accessible. Everyone’s a winner.

Whilst there’s robots on the factory floor and widespread fearmongering about AI and robotics stealing jobs in the UK. I truly believe AI is far from replacing humans and in fact argue that it can help people do their jobs more effectively. We’ve seen this first hand with our chatbot which has already generated a record-making 30,000 warm leads for its human colleagues causing our sales team to grow in personnel. When implemented right there’s no reason why AI can’t be implemented cohesively.

AI is changing minds, especially when it comes to car ownership. Car ownership is already becoming a thing of the past, you only have to look at what’s happening in other markets to understand that everything’s changed. Whether its houses, mobile phones or music – subscription models are the now. People will switch from ownership to ‘usership’. This change is down to two factors.

The first factor is a cultural shift in the concept of possession, people are simply more at ease with not owning assets, millennials in particular would rather have access to what they want than settle for owning something they don’t, just to be able to own it. That’s why vehicle leasing brokers continue to grow as the BVLRA’s findings indicate.

The second factor is down to consumer choice and technology plays a huge part in this. The consumer really is king with various vehicle offerings coming into play. Vehicle as a service models will grow in popularity resulting in users only consuming what they want when they need to. In the future AI will also bring ride sharing into the mainstream with customers being able to share autonomous vehicles across an optimized route making for a safer, cheaper way of driving.

Accessing vehicles digitally whether it’s via an app or chatbot is only going to increase with consumer trust in technology rising and more auto companies embracing AI. The Edelman Trust barometer 2019 has revealed that the auto industry has reached its five-year high in trust with 69% and I can’t help but think this has a positive correlation with the auto industries adoption of Artificial Intelligence.

As it continues to grow in all aspects of the automotive industry and more companies implement cutting edge technologies – it’s only going to make things better for the consumer. What an exciting time it is to be involved in auto tech.

Author: Jamie Buchanan, CTO Vanarama

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