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Research & Innovations

Volkswagen invests in the future

The automotive world is currently undergoing a radical transformation. Digitalization as well as societal changes are the main driving factors behind this – whether for new production processes or for the mobility of the future. Therefore, car manufacturers are investing more than ever before in research and development. According to a current comparison from the auditing firm EY, Volkswagen in particular is investing in the future:  Out of all the industrial companies throughout the world, the Group currently ranks fifth with €11.6 billion and is even Europe’s largest investor in research and development. In doing so, the Group is promoting its transformation from an automaker into a leading global provider of sustainable mobility.
Whether in classic research fields (such as production) or in digital future technologies (artificial intelligence or autonomous driving), the Volkswagen Group wants to be the pioneer and driver of innovation for the mobility of the future. Here we are presenting select examples from throughout the entire Group.

Current Projects

Putting blockchains on the road
What requires the energy from around five nuclear power plants but has only a virtual existence? The cryptocurrency Bitcoin. It is the most popular area of application for blockchain technology. Blockchain models cover a number of different approaches, all of which have one thing in common: they are very secure.
Volkswagen AG is testing blockchain systems. This crypto technology offers enormous potential for maintenance, logistics, self-driving vehicles, and specialized solutions such as tamper-proof odometers.

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Self-Learning Factory
Robots for everyone: At Dresden’s Gläserne Manufaktur, plans call for as many employees as possible to benefit from artificial intelligence – quickly and directly.
These automated systems, and in particular their extremities, have become a symbol of artificial intelligence (AI). They can already be found at the Gläserne Manufaktur (The Transparent Factory) in Dresden.

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Volkswagen and Google join forces on quantum computing
The Volkswagen Group and Google have announced a far-reaching research partnership in quantum computing. Quantum computers are high-performance super computers that function in a completely different way from conventional computers.
In the following interview, Martin Hofmann, the Head of Group IT, and Hartmut Neven, the Development Director of the Google Quantum Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, discuss their companies’ goals in the partnership and the way that their collaboration can facilitate future mobility solutions.

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The long path to autonomy
The topic of autonomous driving is covered in the media almost daily. Manufacturers are in an all-out race to see who in the world will be first one making the next move toward a fully autonomous vehicle. At the same time, there is more involved than just market shares.
For almost a century, people have dreamed of the autonomous automobile. Now that vision is becoming a reality. To reach this goal, engineers, designers and developers from the Volkswagen Group are making a crucial contribution toward advancing the emergence of this new technology.

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