Mentions of artificial intelligence in the records of companies in the automotive industry decreased by 42% between the third and fourth quarters of 2021.
In total, the frequency of judgments related to artificial intelligence was 256% higher in 2021 than in 2016 when GlobalData, from whom our data for this article comes, first started identifying the main issues referenced in company records.
When automotive companies publish annual and quarterly reports, ESG reports and other documents, GlobalData analyzes the text and identifies individual sentences related to disruptive forces that companies will face in the coming years. Artificial intelligence is one of these topics – companies that excel and invest in these areas are expected to be better prepared for the future business landscape and better equipped to meet unforeseen challenges.
To assess whether artificial intelligence is more prevalent in the summaries and strategies of companies in the automotive industry, two measures have been calculated. First, we looked at the percentage of companies that mentioned AI at least once in records in the past 12 months – this was 75% compared to 42% in 2016. Second, we calculated the percentage of the total analyzed sentences that reference to artificial intelligence.
Of the 10 largest employers in the auto industry, Ford was the company with the most references to artificial intelligence in 2021. GlobalData identified 97 artificial intelligence-related sentences in the US-based company’s records – 0.7% of all sentences. Denso named artificial intelligence the second most – the problem was mentioned in 0.3% of sentences in the company’s files. Other top employers with high artificial intelligence listings were Magna, Mercedes-Benz and Continental.
Across all companies in the auto industry, the filing published in Q4 2021, showing the greatest focus on artificial intelligence, came from Denso. Of the 1,679 sentences in the document, 13 (0.8%) referred to artificial intelligence.
This analysis approximates which companies are focusing on artificial intelligence and how important the topic is considered within the automotive industry, but it also has limitations and must be interpreted carefully. For example, a company that mentions artificial intelligence more often is not necessarily proof that it is using new techniques or prioritizing the problem, nor does it indicate whether the company’s ventures in artificial intelligence have had success or failure.
GlobalData also categorizes artificial intelligence entries based on a series of sub-themes. Of these sub-themes, the topic most frequently mentioned in the fourth quarter of 2021 was “smart robots,” which accounted for 68% of all artificial intelligence sub-themes by automotive companies.