AI to help make smarter, safer cars from 2025

New Citroën, Peugeot and Vauxhall models to benefit from advanced AI systems...

New cars 2024 Fiat Panda concept

Smarter, safer cars from one of the world’s largest car makers could be on the road by 2025, following the announcement of new technology by Stellantis.

The Stellantis group – which comprises 14 brands, including Abarth, Alfa Romeo, Citroën, Fiat, Peugeot and Vauxhall in the UK – announced three new technologies which aim to add advanced features into its cars quickly while also cutting complexity. Among the first cars to feature these new systems is likely to be the next-generation Fiat Panda, due to launch in 2025.

First is a new centralised computer system called the STLA Brain, which will effectively take over many of the functions currently carried out by individual sensors and processors in cars. Indeed, Stellantis bosses say that future vehicles will need half as many electronic control units as today’s models. It says the development of new features could take a quarter of the time needed today, at around six months.

Peugeot ChatGPT integration

For drivers, the STLA Brain will also bring enhanced Artificial Intelligence capabilities, allowing the ChatGPT platform to control some vehicle functions, such as climate control, lighting and navigation. ChatGPT has already been incorporated into some Stellantis models; Peugeot’s AI allows drivers to ask questions of their cars using natural language, and receive personalised recommendations in return. 

Another innovation is the STLA Smart Cockpit, which will bring more information to drivers using AI and context-aware menus. For example, your car (or your car brand’s smartphone app) may suggest a music playlist for your journey based on where you’re going or the time of day. Stellantis suggested driving to the Glastonbury festival with last year’s festival hits being curated for you in a music playlist as an example. 

The system will also create a personalised profile for drivers which can transfer your preferences and driving habits between vehicles – so long as those cars are from Stellantis-owned brands.

Finally, the STLA Autodrive system aims to bring together the STLA Brain and STLA Smart Cockpit capabilities to deliver advanced driver assistance features which are continually updated. The aim, say officials, is to eventually allow hands-off, eyes-off driving – effectively making the car autonomous in certain situations, such as when driving on the motorway.

Company officials say these advancements have been made possible by a new ‘virtual’ engineering workbench, which allows teams of software developers and engineers to work around the world 24/7, and test new software features quickly.

Stellantis is only one of a number of car makers to offer AI integration into its cars, with ChatGPT having become a common integration over the past year. The latest Skoda Octavia family car, for example, includes the service as standard.

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