GenAI and the future of vehicle design: hype or hope?

The release of ChatGPT in November 2022 sparked an intense global interest in generative artificial intelligence (GenAI). The automotive industry has been no exception: both Precedence Research and McKinsey & Co forecast that the technology’s sector-specific value will exceed US$300bn by the early to mid 2030s. In 2022, it was worth just US$312m.

AI’s potential impact on vehicle design is already under cautious consideration by experts and educational institutions. Neither consider its outright isolation from the profession’s future to be a possibility, yet there is still uncertainty about the extent of its near-term use. Given its present capabilities, is the enthusiasm for GenAI based on hype or hope?

This was the question posed by Robert Smith, Director of AI and Data Science at Digital Catapult, a UK-based digital tech innovation centre, at the UK Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders’ Connected 2024 event in March. “Hype for GenAI is everywhere,” he cautions Automotive World. “There’s even confusion about what that term actually means.”

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