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• Objective: new IT solutions for big data and internet of things
• Group CIO Hofmann: we foster creativity and experimentation
Volkswagen Group IT has inaugurated a Data Lab in Munich. In close cooperation with universities and technology partners, the Data Lab is to create new IT solutions in the fields of big data and the internet of things.
“The Volkswagen Data Lab will strengthen our internal IT competence and disseminate the latest knowledge of innovative processes throughout the entire Group,” said Group CIO Dr. Martin Hofmann. “The analysis and processing of large data volumes is becoming increasingly important. Together with high-grade industry partners and start-ups, our employees are developing ground-breaking ideas and testing new technologies for the analysis of large data volumes such as those created by networked vehicles. The Data Lab will foster creativity and experimentation with a view to exploring new approaches to solutions.”
The establishment of the Data Lab received financial support from the Innovation Fund of Volkswagen. This fund supports projects going beyond the previous core business of Volkswagen. Stephan Wolf, Deputy Chairman of the Group Works Council, said: “Employees at the Data Lab will be working on key technologies that are essential for the Group. The Data Lab combines training with efforts to ensure a secure future and is therefore a key element in safeguarding employment in the long term.”
Wolfram Thomas, Volkswagen Group Officer for the Environment, Energy and New Business Areas, emphasized: “Digitalization is fundamentally changing people’s mobility expectations. The Data Lab will help us provide answers to questions concerning the mobility of the future at an early stage and in an unconventional way.”
The key task of the Data Lab is the development of innovative IT solutions for analyzing data patterns, for example with reference to component quality. The results will help improve processes and product properties as well as contributing to the development of new products. Another topic is the networking of vehicles with their environment – from the smartphone to public traffic management.
At the Data Lab, the team members develop ideas rapidly and unbureaucratically, implement them as software prototypes in a laboratory environment and put them to the test. For this purpose, they have access to the most advanced hardware and software available. In these efforts, Group IT employees cooperate closely with external partners. Apart from research institutions such as Munich University and the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence, leading big data technology companies and start-ups contribute their knowledge. A strategic partnership with German Entrepreneurship GmbH ensures information interchange with the start-up segment. This company links industry and higher education with budding entrepreneurs. The Data Lab pools the big data activities of Volkswagen and is therefore open to all Group brands.
Every day, Volkswagen Group IT connects millions of people. Modern system solutions link 590,000 Group employees from about 300 companies and locations with more than 1.2 million employees of suppliers. About 650,000 people working at dealerships are also connected. Every day, Volkswagen Group IT manages about six million emails and provides support for around 300,000 PCs. Ten international computer centers ensure smooth and trouble-free data transmission.