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February 12, 2024 | Tom Ballard

Volkswagen announces new AI Lab

The goal is to identify new product ideas, develop highly promising concepts, together with partners where the need arises, and produce early prototypes.

The Volkswagen Group, which has its only U.S. manufacturing plant in Chattanooga, has announced the creation of a specialized AI Lab that will act as a globally networked competence center and incubator.

In a recent announcement, the role of the new artificial intelligence initiative was described as identifying new product ideas for the Volkswagen Group and coordinating them internally within the Group. “As the need arises, this will also include collaboration with the tech sector in Europe, China and North America. By adopting this approach, the Volkswagen Group intends to simplify collaboration with technology companies with a view to making optimum use of the innovation potential and speed of the AI sector. The objective is to rapidly develop digital prototypes and transfer them to the Group brands for implementation.”

The new AI effort, officially described as a new company, will identify new product ideas connected with artificial intelligence throughout the world. Then, the AI Lab will develop highly promising concepts, together with partners where the need arises, to produce early prototypes. AI Lab will have a team of artificial intelligence experts and will work closely with all the brands. High-ranking representatives of the brand groups will form the Supervisory Board.

“With our new AI Lab, we are combining technological expertise, flexibility and speed in collaboration with external partners. This will be crucial in the highly dynamic AI sector,” says Michael Steiner, Head of Research and Development of the Volkswagen Group and a member of the Executive Board, Research and Development of Porsche AG. “We will pursue highly promising initiatives in the marketplace, together with partners where this is necessary, irrespective of existing arrangements and other links in series production.”

Last fall, the University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UTK), and Volkswagen Group of America announced the signing of a new five-year Master Research Agreement, reinforcing a longstanding and productive innovation partnership. As noted in this article, the agreement, which also includes the UT Research Foundation, guarantees the continuation of a partnership that has already produced more than 27 active research projects, 15 publications, and multiple pending patents.

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