The Rise of AI in Transportation

Could Artificial Intelligence have the potential to take the transportation landscape somewhere new? Transportation, the industry responsible for moving commodities and people from one place to another, has gone through multiple transformation stages over the years.

We’ve evolved throughout the decades from using things like steam engines and experimental cars, to experimenting with vehicles that could one day drive themselves. Currently, experts predict that the AI in transportation market will reach a value of around $10.3 billion by 2030.

The question for today’s innovators is simply, where is the future of intelligent vehicles heading, and what can we look forward to in emerging trends? We’ve already seen countless companies experimenting with things like smart and autonomous vehicles, so what’s next?

AI in Transportation: The Future of Transport

Transportation is one of the major industries gaining the most attention about artificial intelligence today. The automotive industry in particular has begun applying artificial intelligence in critical tasks like traffic management, self-driving cars, and so on, where reliability and safety will be essential in the use of new technology.
Companies like Tesla have introduced an autonomous semi-truck, while companies like Uber experiment with the idea of self-driving units to take passengers to their destination, instead of drivers. AI-powered systems have the potential to transform a huge range of activities and experiences in the travel and transport sector. Trends include:

Self-driving cars

Autonomous, or self-driving cars are no longer the concept of science-fiction novels and movies alone. Increasingly, companies are experimenting with semi-autonomous and autonomous cars that can make roads safer and simplify the transportation world for many people.
Although many consumers are still sceptical about what the future of autonomous cars might hold, opportunities are everywhere. Some autonomous taxi companies claim that access to this technology will also make it cheaper to get to wherever you want to go. Autonomous cars also have the potential to make us all safer on the roads, by automatically taking actions to protect drivers and pedestrians, even when a driver is too slow to react themselves.
A self-driving car programmed correctly can ensure that a car doesn’t steer too far outside of its lane when a driver is exhausted behind the wheel. Autonomous vehicles can even take over the full journey for the user, or simply provide assistance when needed.
Aside from automatically driving passengers to wherever they want to be, autonomous cars can also be excellent in the logistics environment. US logistics are embracing autonomous trucks for the delivery of goods around the world. These autonomous vehicles could significantly reduce the costs and maintenance associated with the supply chain.

Improved traffic management

Reducing the dependence on drivers to make decisions when driving is one of the ways that AI can make the roads safer. However, there are other opportunities too. For instance, on a daily basis, people face issues with traffic congestion and blocked roads. AI could be one of the tools that solves this issue. Cameras and sensors embedded into the road can collect huge amounts of traffic data.
The traffic data collected can be sent to the cloud and analysed with algorithms that provide insights through apps and systems that guide people to reduce their congestion issues. Traffic predictions can be gleaned through comprehensive data processing, and commuters can get much more accurate insights into what’s going on in the roads around them.
We’re already seeing the evidence of improved traffic management in the modern world, with GPS and navigation systems that can easily provide notifications when congestion levels are high in specific locations. These tools won’t just help cars, but traffic in other vehicle environments too. Boats, ships, and airplanes can avoid unnecessary congestion with guidance from AI-enhanced applications and tools. This could save a lot of cash in the transport section, as studies show that flight delays cost around $39 billion to manage each year, and that’s just in the US.

Drone taxis and driverless busses

Above, we referred briefly to the potential of autonomous taxis. However, there are huge opportunities for self-driving vehicles in more than just the automotive space. AI is already poised to disrupt public transport, with examples of driverless busses and similar systems already appearing around Europe. These driverless solutions will allow more people to reach their destination with speed. Combined with valuable AI intelligence, the right vehicles can avoid congestion too.
Elsewhere, businesses are experimenting with the idea of self-driving planes and drone taxis that will fly users to their destination at the press of a button. Ideas have already begun to emerge in China, where passengers have had a chance to experience smart air mobility already.
AI has the opportunity to improve the way that airlines and pilots operate by providing additional guidance and support to pilots in real-time. This can significantly reduce the risk of accidents and common air problems. It may also reduce the costs of having extra co-pilots on board. Though it might be a while before people feel comfortable flying with an entirely digital pilot, this could be where the future is heading.

Endless Additional Opportunities

The flexibility of AI in the transportation sector means that there are countless other areas which could be affected going forward. Dubai has been experimenting with smart vehicle number plates with access to tools that can inform emergency services about the details of a crash or incident. These plates can even connect to your bank account to pay parking fines.
AI solutions can be at the forefront of crewless cargo ships, reducing the demand on human beings for taxing jobs that would otherwise require months or years away from home. Some professionals could even use AI and IoT connections to control vehicles from a distance.
The future of AI transport could also include space flight and transportation to other planets. Companies like Tesla have been investing more heavily in ideas that bring AI into the space environment. The future of space travel could be in the hands of AI-based tools.