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Volkswagen Sets Up its Own AI Lab to Embrace the Tech

Last Updated on January 31, 2024 by SPN Editor

German automotive giant Volkswagen has entered the realm of artificial intelligence (AI) by announcing the establishment of its dedicated AI lab. This move underscores the automotive industry’s increasing interest in integrating cutting-edge technology into its operations.

In an official statement, Volkswagen revealed that its new AI lab would function as a “globally networked competence center and incubator,” focusing on producing proofs of concept related to automotive innovations. AI labs serve as hubs for research and development, exploring breakthroughs in artificial intelligence, similar to well-known examples such as OpenAI and Google’s DeepMind.

Volkswagen aims to leverage its AI lab’s innovations to enhance the intelligence of its vehicles, providing customers with genuine added value. Oliver Blume, CEO of the Volkswagen Group and Porsche AG, emphasized the company’s commitment to linking external digital ecosystems with vehicles, creating an improved product experience. Collaboration with technology companies is deemed crucial, and the company envisions simplifying cooperation in organizational and cultural terms in the future.

While Volkswagen does not plan to manufacture its own production models, it expressed intentions to engage in discussions with potential partners about licensing its proprietary AI technology for use in their vehicles, although no specific partners were named in the announcement.

The AI solutions pursued by Volkswagen’s lab will encompass areas such as optimizing electric vehicle charging, predictive maintenance for cars, and linking vehicles with customers’ homes through internet-connected devices. The company also expressed its interest in exploring AI applications to enable in-car voice recognition.

This strategic move aligns with the broader trend in the automotive industry, with other companies like DS Automobiles, Mercedes-Benz, Microsoft, and BYD actively incorporating AI into their vehicles to enhance technology credentials and deliver smarter automobiles. Notably, Volkswagen’s foray into AI reflects a desire for increased independence, potentially reducing reliance on external AI software from major tech players like Microsoft, Apple, Google, and Amazon.

Volkswagen’s commitment to AI is not new, as evidenced by its recent announcement at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas to integrate ChatGPT into its cars, relying on OpenAI as a technological partner. The establishment of its AI lab positions Volkswagen to determine its AI future, allowing the company to explore and adopt AI technologies tailored to its specific needs and goals.

While facing challenges to compete with established research labs, this initiative underscores Volkswagen’s dedication to advancing technology within the automotive sector.

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