If you are looking for an answer to the question What is Artificial Intelligence? and you only have a minute, then here's the definition the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence offers on its home page: "the scientific understanding of the mechanisms underlying thought and intelligent behavior and their embodiment in machines."
However, if you are fortunate enough to have more than a minute, then please get ready to embark upon an exciting journey exploring AI (but beware, it could last a lifetime) …
The announcement throws down the gauntlet for other carmakers and technology companies that are working on similar technology. Nearly every carmaker has committed to some level of autonomy in their vehicles over the next few years. But most of them are pursuing much lower levels of autonomy within their vehicles. There's a scale that's come into use to describe these different technologies, which appears in the chart below. Most car companies--Tesla included--are deploying Levels 2 or 3, in which humans and cars switch off driving the car.
Instead of eliminating the human dimension, the driver is more fully integrated into the vehicle. In collaboration with Hyundai and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art's Art Technology Lab, I'm exploring a future in which sensor technologies enhance the driver's awareness. Instead of eliminating the human dimension, the driver is more fully integrated into the vehicle. His conceptually driven interdisciplinary art projects, which explore aspects of society through science and technology, have been presented at institutions ranging from Arizona State University to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art to ZKM Karlsruhe.
As part of that, they've promised to "bring highly automated driving functions to market as a core competency from 2021." They announced they're rolling out "Level 3" automation--which means a car that can drive itself some of the time--in the A8 model this year with promises to bring fully autonomous vehicles to market in 2020. On the electric side, the company has promised a sporty little electric vehicle called the I.D. Instead, the company's engineers had built them to run artificially well under testing conditions (and only under testing conditions).
Hurricane Matthew's record rains were but the first of many obstacles faced by millions of evacuees in Florida, Georgia, and the Carolinas this past week. Most did make it to safety, thanks to evacuation orders, well-planned emergency procedures, and traffic managers switching up lanes to move a glut of vehicles (contraflow for the win). Given the capabilities that carmakers are rapidly approaching with autonomous-vehicle technology, this isn't mere idle speculation: The U.S. Department of Transportation has been studying how car-to-car communications, a critical piece of the anticipated self-driving future, might improve evacuation procedures. For one thing, even partially autonomous vehicles could improve traffic flow, if there were enough of them.