What advanced tech will dominate your car by 2025? IBM knows

IBM says cognitive vehicles become commonplace; fully autonomous cars not so much

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The Ford GT

Credit: Reuters

Self-healing, social network communicating, Internet-of-Things operating cars are the wave of the future, according to a study of automotive leaders conducted by IBM.

 The IBM study, “Automotive 2025: Industry without borders,” amassed interviews with 175 executives from automotive OEMs, suppliers, and other leaders in 21 countries and found that by 2025 cars will be able to learn, heal, drive and socialize with other vehicles and their surrounding environment.

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 “By 2025, the industry will not only recreate our highly personalized and digitized lives inside our cars, but also give consumers a bigger role in defining that experience, whether as a driver or passenger.” said Alexander Scheidt, Global Automotive Industry Leader of IBM’s Global Business Services in a statement.

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'Following Mode' icon is lit on the dashboard screen of an Acura RLX sedan being towed by another car with Honda's virtual tow technology that creates a wireless link between two cars. Systems that enable vehicles to communicate with each other have been developed in recent years in parallel with features that enable cars to drive themselves. Manufacturers and suppliers now are putting the two together in novel ways, with broad implications for vehicle safety and convenience.

Some of the study’s more interesting observations included:

  • By 2025, the vehicle will be sophisticated enough to configure itself to a driver and other occupants.
  • Fifty-seven percent believe vehicle “social networks” would be in place where vehicles would communicate with each other, allowing vehicles to share not only traffic or weather conditions, but information specific to a given automaker. For instance, if a vehicle was experiencing some type of problem not recognized before, it could communicate with other vehicles of the same brand to seek help on what the issue might be.
  • Analytics capabilities will help vehicles identify and locate issues, schedule fixes and even help other vehicles with similar problems with minimal impact to the driver.
  • Like other smart devices, the vehicle will be an integrated component in the Internet of Things (IoT). It will collect and use information from others concerning traffic, mobility, weather and other events associated with moving around: details about driving conditions, as well as sensor-based and location-based information for ancillary industries, such as insurance and retail.
  • Seventy-four percent of respondents said that vehicles will have cognitive capabilities to learn the behaviors of the driver and occupants, the vehicle itself and the surrounding environment to continually optimize and advise. As the vehicle learns more about the driver and occupants, it will be able to expand its advice to other mobility services options.
  • The report also underscores considerable skepticism about fully autonomous vehicles—where no driver is required and the vehicle is integrated into normal driving conditions. A mere 8% of executives see it becoming commonplace by 2025. Moreover, only 19% believe that a fully automated environment—meaning the driving system handles all situations without monitoring, and the driver is allowed to perform non-driving tasks—will be routine by 2025.
  • Eighty-seven percent of the participants felt partially automated driving, such as an expansion of today’s self-parking or lane change assist technologies would be commonplace. Moreover, 55% said highly automated driving, where the system recognizes its limitations and calls driver to take control, if needed, allowing the driver to perform some non-driving tasks in the meantime, would also be adapted by 2025.

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