Cognitive Computing Redefines Vehicle Safety

The auto industry is transforming the driver and passenger experience.

Ben Stanley | IBM

My first car was a ’65 Chevy Impala, which I bought from my uncle. The engine was in bad shape so within the first week, I swapped it out with one I bought from the local junkyard. It was a pretty simple car – manual transmission, manual windows and locks, no air and an AM/FM radio.

Despite what might seem like limited features by today’s standards, that Impala handled nicely – and I felt safe and confident on the road.

But a lot has changed over the past 50 years and the car features that once enticed, like horsepower and handling, have been replaced by connectivity and convenience.

Onboard technologies have transformed cars into computers on wheels. Fed by thousands of apps and data flows, these new insights allow auto companies to develop completely new customer experiences.

From connected to self-driving, today’s vehicles are evolving from a mode of transport to also serve as a new kind of moving data center, with onboard sensors and computers that capture information about the vehicle.

A cognitive revolution 

Extending the power of cognitive to the vehicle transforms the driver and passenger experience.

For instance, with new data insights the car is now a guide on the road that can inform the driver when they are low on fuel and where the nearest petro station is, deal with car diagnostics such as reporting issues and understanding the car’s new features or proactively communicate where an available parking space is located.

Cognitive computing also ensures that with all of these new features, automakers and suppliers are creating safe interactions inside and outside the vehicle. Just as I wanted to feel safe and confident in my first car, the same holds true today especially as technology becomes more prevalent and potentially distracting to the driver.

To understand the potential impact of cognitive computing on the industry, IBM analyzed responses of 500 auto industry executives worldwide who participated in our recent cognitive computing study.

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A new level of safety and security will be created by merging digital business with new digital intelligence.

The Cognitive Effect on Automotive,” developed by the IBM Institute for Business Value (IBV), reports cognitive technologies will address important top-of-mind consumer concerns, like safety.

Seventy percent of automotive industry executives worldwide said cognitive technologies will have a significant impact on vehicle safety and ultimately, save lives.

In addition, 69 percent of respondents indicated that cognitive computing will significantly improve consumer data security and privacy.

Merging business and intelligence 

By merging digital business with a new level of digital intelligence, automakers can introduce a new level of safety and security.

For example, with cognitive computing, automakers can address potential safety issues before an accident occurs by using advanced analytics that apply natural language processing to capturing and analyzing unstructured and structured data. The data reveals patterns and correlations between safety issues and root causes, allowing the automaker to find problems exponentially faster and more accurately.

At last month’s IAA New Mobility World in Frankfurt , IBM demonstrated how our combined strength in manufacturing and depth of global automotive expertise can address consumer concerns about safety and quality.

And this is just the beginning of where cognitive computing will take us – and our vehicles.

This article first appeared on IBM’s THINK blog and was republished with permission.

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Ben Stanley is the global lead for the research and development of IBM industry studies on the automotive industry, including market, business and technology impacts.

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