German car manufacturer Volkswagen announced on Wednesday the establishment of its own artificial intelligence (AI) lab, showcasing the automotive industry’s growing interest in adopting this cutting-edge technology.
According to a press release, Volkswagen’s AI lab will function as a globally connected center of expertise and innovation, focusing on developing proof of concepts related to tech advancements in the automotive field.
AI labs are renowned for their research and development efforts in exploring breakthroughs in artificial intelligence. Examples of such labs include OpenAI, which received significant backing from Microsoft, and DeepMind, which was acquired by Google in 2014.
Volkswagen plans to integrate the AI innovations from its lab into their vehicles, aiming to enhance their intelligence and provide customers with genuine added value. Oliver Blume, CEO of the Volkswagen Group and Porsche AG, emphasized the importance of collaboration with technology companies to simplify cooperation and strengthen organizational and cultural aspects in the future.
Volkswagen has no plans to manufacture any of its own production models, but the company intends to engage in discussions with potential partners regarding the licensing of its proprietary AI technology for integration into their vehicles. However, Volkswagen has not disclosed the names of any potential partners at this time.
The automotive manufacturer has stated that its AI solutions will focus on various areas, including optimizing the charging process for electric vehicles, predictive maintenance for cars, and connecting vehicles to customers’ homes through internet-connected devices. Additionally, Volkswagen aims to explore the use of AI for in-car voice recognition.
This announcement comes at a time when other automobile companies are heavily investing in artificial intelligence to enhance their technological capabilities and develop smarter cars. For instance, French carmaker DS automobiles began incorporating ChatGPT into their vehicles towards the end of last year.
Mercedes-Benz and Microsoft have been testing in-car ChatGPT support since as early as June 2023. Furthermore, Chinese electric vehicle giant BYD recently introduced an AI-powered smart car system to compete more effectively with rivals in terms of advanced technologies like automated parking.
The launch of Volkswagen’s AI lab shows their desire to reduce their reliance on major technology companies, which have established their own research units for artificial intelligence.
This decision may lead to Volkswagen becoming more self-sufficient by decreasing their dependence on external AI software provided by tech giants such as Microsoft, Apple, Google, and Amazon. Volkswagen has recently expanded its work in AI by announcing their plans to integrate ChatGPT into their vehicles at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
This integration relies on OpenAI as a technological partner rather than using their own proprietary technology. With the creation of their AI lab, Volkswagen will have more control over their adoption of artificial intelligence, although they still face a significant challenge in competing with the advanced technologies produced by established research labs like OpenAI.