A Glimpse Into The Future With AI On The Driving Seat

The future is like a giant puzzle and technology gives us a small piece of the puzzle daily. With each passing day we glimpse a piece of what the future will be like. Will it be full of Elon Musk’s humanoid robots? Or Apple’s self driving cars?

We are witnessing daily new inventions, innovations and ideas that are going to change the way we perceive reality. Machine learning is advancing to the point where artificial intelligence will be able to transport us using self-driving cars. Technically they won’t be self-driving cars but AI-driven cars. That is if they won’t be flying.

The impressive thing about technology is that it only needs a small technological tipping point to rewrite the future. That small tipping point might be an AI robot becoming self-aware and finding a way to revolt against humans. Therefore we need to be aware of both the positive and negative effects of technology.

The future of transportation as dictated by current technological innovations

Recently there has been a flurry of activity around autonomous transport systems. Autonomous cars will undoubtedly brings us numerous benefits, though there are several concerns about putting our safety in the hands of a self-driving car. Tesla proved to us that for a self-driving car to be fully safe, the AI under the hood has to have some kind of higher critical decision making skills.

In transportation we have recently seen promises of major technology advances. These advances include:

  • the gradual migration to electric vehicles, which are environmentally sustainable and also expected to be more efficient with time.
  • connectivity through digitisation, that will allow the cars to communicate with other smart cars, smart roads, smart cities, and the users. We will be able to just call the car to come and pick us up and the car will communicate with the smart city on the best route to take.
  • advanced self-driving system.

All these advances will save us time, money and labour in menial tasks such as traversing from point A to Point B. Cities will look totally different without the familiar rush hour smog. In fact, there will be no rush hour. All cars will be linked to a central AI that will map out the most efficient and time saving route for every car.

Every car will be powered by electricity generated by environmentally sustainable ways, which means the air will be healthier as well.

At what cost?

Well, I have just painted an attractive future using unfinished fragments of the technology we are developing. Its all made of concentric circles having AI at the centre. Will it all be rosy? Lets see.

Smart technology also means having smart terrorists and smart hackers. The problem with hackers is that they build their tools with the same technology that we develop our systems with. This means that sooner or later someone will use an AI to hack, lets say the central AI linking all the autonomous vehicles in a city. Imagine how many catastrophic car crashes will occur. That will be the cost of putting our life in the hands of an AI.

Many companies working on autonomous vehicles right now believe that autonomous vehicles will reduce the number of car accidents and improve road safety. However, flip the coin and you will see that for autonomous vehicles to be safe, they need to will exchange a lot of information in order to be aware of each other. Therefore it is crucial to ensure the data safety and data integrity. That will be the weak link where future terrorists will be brute forcing daily. I forsee tutorials titled something like, "A dummies guide on how to hack all the cars in the city".

Since they are problems of the future, maybe they will have future solutions. Maybe the AI of the future will be self aware enough to be able to detect when it has been hacked and try to fix itself.

Another problem will be the issue of regulating the safety of different vehicles created by different manufacturers. Cybersecurity risks usually stem from trying to plug an unstandardised module into a standardised system.

Automotive companies will need to cooperate with each other to create a standardised and safe autonomous transport system.

That is but just a small part of the future of transportation systems where I focused more on the autonomous car. However, the future of transportation bring is a bigger picture including many different forms of transportation opportunities, such as:

  • bullet trains
  • flying cars
  • and possibly teleportation (who knows. As I said earlier we only need a small technological piece of puzzle to rewrite the future. As with many discoveries, human teleportation might be discovered by accident).

Sydney Chako

Mathematics, Chemistry and Physics teacher at Sytech Learning Academy. From Junior Secondary School to Tertiary Level Engineering Mathematics and Engineering Science.

Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments