The Volkswagen Group has launched a new AI company, “AI Lab,” aimed at creating digital prototypes for vehicles and establishing partnerships within the tech industry.
CEO Oliver Blume emphasizes the goal of enhancing customer experience saying, “We want to offer our customers genuine added value with artificial intelligence. We aim to link external digital ecosystems with the vehicle, creating an even better product experience.”
This shift suggests a move toward integrating driver assistance software with external infrastructure, potentially leading to fully autonomous vehicles.
The automotive and tech sectors have long grappled with challenges related to autonomous driving.
Experts suggest that achieving autonomy may necessitate connectivity to external infrastructure, enabling vehicles to communicate with traffic signals and other vehicles.
Volkswagen’s AI Lab plans to focus on vehicle-to-vehicle communication, infotainment, predictive maintenance, and advanced charging technologies.
Internally, AI Lab is empowered to forge partnerships independently, aiming for rapid prototyping and faster deployment of AI solutions.
Talks are already underway with potential partners for the development of the company’s initial products.
AI is being used throughout the automotive industry to revolutionize everything from manufacturing to the driver’s experience.
Beyond the concept of autonomous driving, AI is being used to predict maintenance needs through internal sensors, notifying drivers when issues arise in a more conversational manner than old warning lights.
Mercedes Benz integrates generative AI in its MBUX infotainment system and provides seamless voice-activated functionalities that can control car features or can be linked to home devices.
Generative AI tools are helping Toyota designers create new vehicles through the use of machine learning algorithms and large datasets allowing engineers to speak to programs to refine new car designs.