Digital products based on artificial intelligence will play a key role for the Volkswagen Group in the future.
New infotainment and navigation applications, high-performance speech recognition, extensive car functions and the great integration of digital systems into it will ensure significant benefits for customers, improving the product experience. This is why Volkswagen has created a specialized “artificial intelligence laboratory” (AILab). This company will function as a globally networked competence center and incubator of ideas. AILab will identify new product ideas for the Volkswagen Group and coordinate them within the Group. As the needs grow there will be cooperation with the technology sector in Europe, China and North America.
By adopting this approach, the Volkswagen Group intends to simplify cooperation with technology companies in order to make the most of the innovation potential and speed of the artificial intelligence (AI) sector. The goal is the rapid development of digital prototypes and their transfer to the Group's brands for implementation.
The Volkswagen Group is committed to continuously integrating new digital products with artificial intelligence into its models and offering its customers added value that will extend beyond their cars. Among other things, Volkswagen sees significant potential in high-performance speech recognition as well as services that connect users' own digital environment with the car. The extended functions of the car will be equally important. These may include AI-optimized charging cycles, predictive maintenance and networking of cars with infrastructure such as customers' homes (“smart home”).
AILab will not build production models, but will act as an incubator for ideas for the Volkswagen Group. The company will identify new product ideas connected to artificial intelligence around the world. AILab will then develop the most promising ideas in collaboration with partners, when the need arises, to produce initial prototypes. AILab will have a team of AI experts and work closely with all brands. Senior executives from the Group's brand teams will form the supervisory board.
AILab's small but powerful organization and the direct participation of brand teams in the Supervisory Board will enable communication between equal partners in the dynamic field of artificial intelligence, speed up processes and simplify cooperation between the automotive industry and technology companies. Exploratory discussions for the first products are already underway with international technology companies. Recognized experts in artificial intelligence will be responsible for the technical functions of the administration. The Supervisory Board will consist of members of the Boards of Directors of Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche.