Volkswagen Appoints New Chief Of Silicon Valley-Based Electronics Research Lab

Volkswagen Group of America has appointed Ewald Goessmann as the new Executive Director of its Electronics Research Laboratory (ERL) in the Silicon Valley. Goessman replaces outgoing executive director Dr. Peter Oel, who will return to Volkswagen’s Research & Development organization at the Headquarters in Wolfsburg, Germany.

As the head of the ERL, Goessman will be responsible for leading the team in five key areas:

  • Human Machine Interface (HMI)
  • Infotainment software and platform research and development
  • Advanced powertrain research
  • Advanced driver assistance systems
  • Test concepts and validation
Ewald Goessmann

Ewald Goessmann

A VW Group veteran who spent 14 years at Audi AG, Goessman will lead a staff of 140 engineers, scientists, engineers, and futurists. The staff has grown in size by 40 percent since the location’s opening in 2011. In fact, the ERL has experienced significant growth over the last few years, establishing itself as “the premier automotive innovation center in Silicon Valley”, according to VW.

“Goessmann brings decades of engineering expertise to his new role, having led teams in research and development of innovative, next-generation technologies during his time at Audi AG,” said Michael Horn, president and CEO, Volkswagen Group of America. “As the ERL continues to innovate and grow, Goessmann’s passion comes at the right time for the lab. We appreciate the great work of Peter Oel, who spearheaded the lab’s growth with the mission of bridging Silicon Valley imagination with traditional automotive engineering.”

The new director joins the team as it begins several research & development initiatives “identifying innovations that will power the next-generation of in-vehicle technologies, sustainable mobility solutions, intelligent connected car applications, and advanced driver assistance systems.”

Located in Belmont, California, the VW Group’s Electronics Research Laboratory (ERL) was established in 1998 with three employees. Today, the lab has grown to be the automaker’s largest advanced technology research and development facility outside of Germany, employing 140 engineers, social scientists, researchers, and product engineers. Supporting VW Group brands such as Audi, VW, Bentley, Bugatti, Ducati, and Lamborghini, the ERL represents the Volkswagen Group’s applied research and development efforts in North America, focusing on advanced technology and carrying a mission to identify and develop innovations for future generations of vehicles, with the goal of transferring technologies from other industries into automotive. Its prime Silicon Valley location allows it “to draw upon the region’s innovative spirit while successfully bridging the gap between the Group’s comprehensive engineering resources and Silicon Valley imagination”.

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