Artificial intelligence will turn your car into your personal assistant
In the future, artificially intelligent cars might respond to our emotions, adapting the environment to suit our needs. Here's how AI is shaping the future of transport
It is difficult to escape the subject of artificial intelligence. Now found in everything from the latest white goods to the smartphone you use on a daily basis, this technology transforms a traditionally injudicious item into an intelligent assistant that can not only deliver exactly what you need, but even predict what that is before you’ve even thought of it.
Discussions around machine learning and the automotive industry have recently been dominated by the subject of autonomous driving, with self-learning machines that pilot a car with minimal input for the driver, just on the horizon. But AI in cars goes far beyond this.
“The car industry today is running behind a lot of other industries when it comes to advancing artificial intelligence,” explains Bentley’s head of user experience design and innovation David Leary.
“We see a lot of cars in the market that use voice command and other forms of artificial intelligence to simply replace buttons and switches, or control one of the hundreds of functions a vehicle offers. We believe that in the future, the car will learn as you interact with it, serving the driver what they need on that particular day and massively reducing the amount of functions we have to physically offer,” he adds.
Bentley’s stunning EXP 100 GT concept vehicle reimagines the future of grand touring, not simply with its ground-breaking styling, fully autonomous driving capabilities and zero emissions drivetrain, but also with its ability to improve a journey thanks to emotionally intelligent AI.
“For Bentley, the past 100 years have been focused on crafting beautiful materials and creating unrivalled performance – but the next 100 years will see us focus on crafting the digital experience,” explains Leary.
A glimpse into the next centenary is provided by the Bentley Personal Assistant, which is integral to EXP 100 GT concept and highlights exactly how smart AI could assist owners of the future, and reintroduce the idea of luxury grand touring by enhancing every journey.
One example of this is the fact that the Bentley Personal Assistant can curate driving experiences, offering points of information along a route, journey suggestions, or available luxury excursions nearby.
For example, passengers would be able to interact with the outside world via deliberate gestures, physically clicking on or tapping landmarks or weather patterns and receiving detailed responses from the AI-powered smart assistant.
Biometric technology embedded into the seats could also determine posture and detect discomfort, automatically making adjustments for the passenger, while the tracking of vital statistics allows the Bentley Personal Assistant to pre-empt passenger needs and maximise comfort based on its knowledge of its owner.
“The car of the future should be part of your lifestyle – it shouldn’t just be an object to get from A to B. Right now, our smartphones are the one piece of technology that we just can’t live without, but the car of the future will be far more powerful than a smartphone. It will be an extension of the self,” Leary explains.
Sentient seats and interactive windows might be some way off, but infotainment systems that can predict popular journeys, or suggest a favoured playlist based on the time of day are already here. And for Bentley, these systems are about to get a lot smarter.