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Future & Mobility

Future & mobility research

The future and mobility research conducted by the Group Research division is helping the Volkswagen Group to take an active role in the future of our planet. Social developments, new technology, economic changes, ecological conditions, and political structures set the course for research into innovative vehicles, new functions, and mobility concepts for the future.

Our research is driven by challenges resulting from trends such as globalisation, urbanisation, the diversification of mobility solutions, and changing lifestyles. These challenges mean that our customers’ requirements and expectations are evolving and changing from culture to culture. In the bid to find a mobility solution for the future, we place particular emphasis on incorporating custom-fit information and communication technology, innovative drive and vehicle concepts, and new types of materials.

The Future Research department’s portfolio concentrates particularly on the issues of technology scouting, early identification of social trends, and digital intelligence. Technology scouting applies systematic methods for monitoring new technological approaches, the results of which are used to identify new technology at an early stage, which is relevant in terms of competition. So that we can identify social trends early on, we analyse and interpret the behaviour of our future customers in future social groups. The Future Research department uses digital intelligence tools to harvest in-depth knowledge from a complicated world of big data. The one aspect that prevails over all of the Future Research department’s work is its goal to keep a close watch on the schedule and results of all of its research projects and its quest to play an active role in setting the company’s course for the future.

In nearly every corner of the globe, passenger vehicles and trucks are the number one mode of transport when it comes to moving people and goods. However, research should not be restricted solely tu vehicles and trucks. While cars may drive traffic and mobility systems forward, they are also dependent on these systems. When it comes to shaping the future of mobility, Volkswagen’s understanding of developments in traffic and mobility systems is vital. One example of a key international trend is the increasing degree of urbanisation. An ever-growing number of people live in cities, meaning that space is at a premium in urban areas, particularly for traffic. We urgently need solutions to make mobility in our cities more efficient, safer, and more environmentally-friendly. Volkswagen Group Research has created a vision for the future of urban mobility. To do so, it has come up with a wide array of different solutions, each of which complements the next. In this vision, the world of transport is one large network where all transport users are kept up-to-date at all times. Automatic driving systems and maximum use of all modes of transport help to increase efficiency. Furthermore the increased integration of transport and logistics helps to reduce the number of journeys made. When compared to the current situation, these (and other) solutions will improve traffic conditions for all road users and also raise living standards for everyone living in cities. As well as providing an important impetus for our work, this vision also acts as a platform for discussion with interested members of the public and those with a professional interest.

From the future to the present

Early recognition of social trends allows for research into, and decoding of future customer's patterns, incorporating movements in architecture, fashion, design or lifestyle. The contexts and trends discovered as part of this research are then combined with technological innovations, and integrated in plausible and innovative vehicle, function and mobility concepts. The early recognition of new technology involves the systematic monitoring of new approaches in technology to guarantee detailed and early identification of competition-relevant technologies.

The early recognition process begins with monitoring suitable sources, subsequently identifying new technology approaches and tracking the evaluation of innovative function ideas, culminating in project generation. Technology road mapping aims to coordinate the timing and content of research and development projects, focusing them on vehicle projects and the needs of customers in different markets.

Volkswagen Group Research is responsible for studying the feasibility of this matter and not its use as standard equipment. The use in vehicle production is not currently planned at this time.