Features

How machine learning will transform your satnav - evo Connectivity

Smarter routes and more accurate arrival-time predictions are on the way

Before we start, for those not in the know, here’s a brief explanation of what ‘machine learning’ is. In simple terms, it is the use of algorithms that can iteratively learn from data, in turn enabling a computer to make predictions and adapt to new situations. This avoids the need for the computer to be explicitly programmed for each situation.

We come across machine learning processes all the time. Amazon’s ‘you might also like’ is one example, as is the technology used in fraud protection. Now machine learning is also making an impact on the automotive world.

Subscribe to evo magazine

Subscribe today to our exclusive new offer and SAVE 39% on the shop price, get evo for its original cover price of £3.00 an issue, plus get a FREE gift worth £20!

Google’s self-driving car is a near-perfect execution of the process. Explicitly programming a car with details on how to tackle every possible permutation in a combination of areas including mapping, traffic avoidance and car control would be a mammoth task. Instead Google provides the car with a huge amount of data, all captured from the roads around its headquarters. This data is then studied by the car, and the patterns and behaviours within it logged, allowing the car to ‘learn’ how to react to scenarios such as cyclists or pedestrians.

This is at the absolute cutting edge of what machine learning is striving towards, but to the average consumer, the biggest change in the short-term will likely be experienced with satellite navigation.

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

Inrix, an infotainment tech-nology company, recently rolled out a redesigned version of its ‘Traffic’ app for iOS and Android. The application works by learning your driving routines and preferences and then creating a personalised predicted list of potential destinations and routes.

On top of this, the application uses a vast network of cloud-connected cars to intelligently map out traffic patterns, the end result being very accurate predicted arrival times and much better traffic-jam avoidance.

This kind of technology is what you can expect to see being integrated more and more into tech-focused cars in the future. BMW’s ultimate vision is to have a car understand and learn your daily routine, then self-drive itself to wherever you need it to.

The current crop of high-tech vehicles feature a plethora of touch inputs, menus and controls for you to communicate with them. Machine learning is all about removing these often complex barriers and the need to ‘inform’ a computer of what you want it to do. With time, machine learning, combined with accurate voice recognition, should transform in-car infotainment and navigation to something so slick and simple you barely need to think about it.

Advertisement
Advertisement

Most Popular

Visit/used-cars/19675/used-car-deals-of-the-week
used cars

Best used cars for sale this week

We’ve delved into the classifieds and chosen our favourite cars for sale this week
27 Mar 2020
Visit/porsche/911-turbo/202379/new-porsche-911-turbo-gains-lightweight-and-sport-packages
Porsche 911 Turbo

New Porsche 911 Turbo gains Lightweight and Sport packages 

The 2020 Porsche 911 Turbo hasn’t been with us for long, but a raft of packages and optional extras are already in the pipeline
26 Mar 2020
Visit/corvette/202016/1200bhp-hennessey-c8-corvette-shown-testing-on-video
Corvette

1200bhp Hennessey C8 Corvette shown testing on video

The C8 Corvette has only just hit showrooms, but Hennessey Performance already has big plans...
26 Mar 2020
Visit/features/22907/hyundai-i30-fastback-n-versus-the-col-de-turini
Hyundai i30 N hatchback

Hyundai i30 Fastback N versus the Col de Turini

We take the Hyundai i30 Fastback N up the Col de Turini, a 31km stage of the Monte Carlo World Rally Championship
19 Jul 2019