The Volkswagen Group’s IT department has opened a new data lab in Munich, Germany to develop solutions that ultimately improve technology and software in future products.
“The Volkswagen Data Lab will strengthen our internal IT competence and disseminate the latest knowledge of innovative processes throughout the entire Group,” said Group CIO Dr. Martin Hofmann. “The analysis and processing of large data volumes is becoming increasingly important. Together with high-grade industry partners and start-ups, our employees are developing ground-breaking ideas and testing new technologies for the analysis of large data volumes such as those created by networked vehicles. The Data Lab will foster creativity and experimentation with a view to exploring new approaches to solutions.”
The primary purpose of the VW data lab, which received financial support from the Innovation Fund of Volkswagen, is the development of innovative IT solutions for analyzing data patterns. One example is related to component quality. The results will help improve processes and product properties while contributing to the development of new products. Another topic that the lab will be focus on is the networking of vehicles with their environment — from the smartphone to public traffic management. The Data Lab pools the big data activities of Volkswagen Auto Group and is “therefore open to all Group brands.”
“Employees at the Data Lab will be working on key technologies that are essential for the Group,” said Stephan Wolf, deputy chairman of the group works council. “The Data Lab combines training with efforts to ensure a secure future and is therefore a key element in safeguarding employment in the long term.”
VW says the team will develop ideas rapidly and without bureaucracy. Instead of waiting through acres of red tape, they will implement software prototypes in a laboratory environment aimed at rapidly developing and testing the ideas.
“Digitalization is fundamentally changing people’s mobility expectations”, emphasized Wolfram Thomas, Volkswagen Group Officer for the Environment, Energy and New Business Areas. “The Data Lab will help us provide answers to questions concerning the mobility of the future at an early stage and in an unconventional way.”