Volkswagen sets up its own AI lab as car industry looks to embrace the tech



German automaker Volkswagen, announced on Wednesday the establishment of its dedicated artificial intelligence lab, signaling the automotive industry’s increasing interest in embracing cutting-edge technology.

According to a press release, Volkswagen’s new AI lab is positioned as a “globally connected competence center and incubator,” focusing on developing proofs of concept within the realm of AI-driven automotive innovations.

Volkswagen emphasized that the AI innovations from its lab would enhance the intelligence of its vehicles, with the goal of delivering genuine value to customers.

Oliver Blume, CEO of the Volkswagen Group and Porsche AG, stated, “We aim to link external digital ecosystems with the vehicle, creating an even better product experience. Collaboration with technology companies is crucially important for us. In  future, we intend to simplify cooperation in organizational and cultural terms.”

While Volkswagen does not plan to manufacture its production models, the company expressed its intention to engage in discussions with potential partners regarding the licensing of its proprietary AI technology for integration into their vehicles.

The AI solutions pursued by the lab will encompass optimizing electric vehicle charging, predictive maintenance for cars, and connecting vehicles with customers’ homes through internet-connected devices. Additionally, the company aims to explore AI applications to enable in-car voice recognition.

This announcement aligns with the broader trend of automotive companies heavily investing in artificial intelligence to enhance their technological prowess and make their vehicles more intelligent. Notably, DS automobiles, a French carmaker, integrated ChatGPT into its vehicles in late 2023, while Mercedes-Benz and Microsoft initiated in-car ChatGPT support testing as early as June 2023. Meanwhile, Chinese electric vehicle giant BYD launched an AI-powered smart car system to stay competitive in advanced technologies, such as automated parking.

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