How Will AI Impact the Transportation Industry?

There are few advancements in the transportation industry, including the moving industry, that are likely to be as impactful as AI. Yes, the innovation in solar energy might change the cost-effectiveness of various vehicles. And there might be an advancement in AR technology that makes sorting and inspecting cargo much more efficient. But all of those pale in comparison to what AI has to offer. So, let’s take a closer look at how AI will impact the transportation industry.

What are the ways in which AI will impact the transportation industry?

As AI is becoming more and more a part of our world and less science fiction, it is essential to distinguish between AI focused on the transportation industry and general AI. An AI system used for transportation is merely a tool, albeit a powerful one. Meanwhile, general AI is genuinely an artificial intelligence capable of developing and upgrading itself. We can only speculate what narrow AI will bring, as general AI is far beyond our scope.

So, with that out of the way, let’s see what narrow AI stands to change in the transportation industry.

Optimized logistics

A big part of managing transportation is optimizing logistics. Between managing weather conditions, transport requirements, safety measures, fuel costs, and vehicle capabilities, logistics manager have their hands full. Well, with the more advanced AI, logistics optimization will become more and more automated. More robust AI systems will consider all these factors and make sound recommendations for logistics.

A port with various ships

High-end logistics and resilient supply chains are the upcoming ways in which AI will impact the transportation industry.

It will be some time before we can do away without logistics managers, as numerous factors are hard to calculate. But, the more time the AI spends dealing with logistics, the better it will get. Keep in mind that logistics improvements go hand in hand with many modern solutions for shipping. So, the more the logistics AI advances, the more shipping innovations we will see.

Driverless vehicles

Another aspect where AI stands to replace humans is driving. Even now, tons of companies are working hard on developing driverless vehicles. Both rail, road, sea, and air shipping will likely become fully automated or at least managed offsite. The main advantages of AI driving systems are that they can operate 24/7 and stand to make far fewer mistakes than human drivers.

A driverless train representing how AI will impact the transportation industry.

We already have trains that function perfectly well without a driver.


The biggest problem that modern AI driving systems face is how to handle pedestrians and animals. Therefore, most of the long-distance transport is essentially taken care of.

Word of warning

While it is exciting to consider how AI will impact the transportation industry, it is worth noting that are potential downsides. Namely, a substantial number of people make their living from transport. And all these innovations stand to make numerous transport jobs obsolete. So, while these advancements are exciting, it is also essential to consider their impact on human lives and whether our economy can support them.