We are fast approaching times when one simply has to think of it and the deed will be done. And it starts with luxury cars. We decode how automobiles are trailing the Artificial Intelligence movement in the luxury industry
By: Somnath Chatterjee
Posted on: March 2, 2020
In today's world, luxury and technology are inseparable bedfellows. Technology, in multiple ways, manifests itself into a facet of luxury, and there isn't a better example of this than the modern luxury motorcar. On one hand, you can argue that luxury is not about stuffing a car to the gunwales with technology, but on the other, it has indeed become a strong pillar on which luxury cars are often judged.
One important feature which is going to play a pivotal role in the future of luxury cars is Artificial Intelligence (AI). It is going to be the next big chapter in luxury motoring where your car knows what you want - even before you have touched a button. While it may seem far-fetched, it has already started to trickle down to mainstream luxury cars. For example, the Jaguar XE compact luxury sedan is the first car from the revered British marque to have AI features in the car.
From understanding you
Called as 'Smart Settings', it first made its debut in Jaguar’s I-Pace electric car. But it makes its debut in India in the XE. This system has a complex algorithm which basically 'learns' about you, the driver. To engage it, there are various profile slots which are created, and where the 'settings' are.
On the basis of various parameters like time, your current location or your driving pattern, the car will adjust various functions according to your needs. The car will observe how you use it, on the basis of which it will customize various features for you. So when you get in the car, it automatically identifies you by the key or your phone, and starts with basic functions like adjusting your seat or even the mirrors.
It also knows your preferred media and configures your common journeys into the navigation. The car will select the particular routes you have taken a week ago on this same day. It knows who you called recently the most and places them on the priority call list. This is indeed fascinating. And Jaguar says that this feature has been designed to offer a safer driving experience where the car knows what you want, therefore allowing you to be focused more on the road than prodding at various buttons.
To providing a safe passage
Which brings us to safety which AI provides in terms of myriad driver assist features. In safety, there is no other carmaker which has done more than Volvo. It is also the only carmaker in India to offer a comprehensive suite of radar-based technology which senses and provides real-time safety features.
Dubbed as ‘IntelliSafe Assist’ it includes Adaptive Cruise Control, Pilot Assist, Curve Speed Adaption and Distance Alert. Here, the car takes safety into its own hands by correcting the steering or applying brakes if you are too close to a car or pedestrian. The car shows real-time updates including pedestrians on the road to even driving itself on a clearly marked motorway.
This is semi-autonomous driving where, for a small amount of time, the car indeed becomes autonomous before it asks to you put your hand back on the steering-wheel. These semi-autonomous technologies have been around in Volvo cars for years now, and it means that fully autonomous cars are only a few years away. Though whether they would be allowed to run on our roads is another matter altogether. With the Indian government saying that they will not allow self-driving cars on our roads, the issue is whether we can really trust a car to drive itself all the time. Only time can tell.
To focusing on your wellbeing
While safety and convenience is one factor, the other is the car’s ability to change your ‘mood’. Yes, the Mercedes-Benz S-Class takes in-car luxury to a new level with its ‘mood changing technology’, where at the touch of a button the car will tailor various systems, like climate control, audio, ambient lighting, seats to even altering the in-car perfume, to soothe your mind and body.
There are six pre-selected programs with specific settings for the aforementioned features according to the mood you want to be in. For example, if you want an up-beat mood, then the ‘Vitality’ program will change the lights to a brighter shade and even search through your musical playlist for a more up-beat music selection.
Back from a lengthy workout? The car will configure its massage seats for muscle-relaxing settings, change the ambient lighting and put in soothing music accordingly. If there isn’t any music to match the mood, then it has its own playlist!
Modern day luxury automobiles are successfully harnessing technology into a new form of luxury where it goes beyond the conventional realms. The future will hold even more fascinating technology, but ultimately, AI is increasingly seeping into our cars, taking the in-car experience to an altogether different level. And that is proper 21st century luxury motoring.