The Volkswagen Group announced it is taking over BlackBerry’s European research and development center in Bochum, Germany. With the newly founded Volkswagen Infotainment GmbH, the Wolfsburg-based automotive group said it is further expanding its expertise and capabilities in the field of vehicle connectivity.
Through its objective of interlinking vehicles and the surrounding world, the field of “connectivity” forms a focal point of research and development within the Volkswagen Group that has seen rapid growth in recent years, explained Volkswagen. New strategies and innovations are needed in order to further optimize the link between drivers and automobiles and the infrastructure.
The exchange of information between vehicle and mobile devices, such as MP3 players, smart phones and car keys, is already taking place today. In the near future, said Volkswagen, further forms of communication will become equally established: communication between vehicle and the driver’s home or office; communication between vehicle and filling stations, parking spaces and road infrastructure (car-to-X communication); and ultimately also from vehicle to vehicle (car-to-car communication). In this way, it will be possible to provide drivers with very prompt information of any hold-ups or obstructions.
“Connectivity will be a key feature of the car of the future,” said Dr. Heinz-Jakob Neusser, member of the Board of Management Volkswagen Brand for the Development Division. “Many customers are expecting connected vehicles of a new dimension in terms of convenience and road safety. Around the globe, our customers’ aspirations will change rapidly, leading to shortened cycles of innovation for systems and functions. In order to be able to meet these challenges it is necessary for us to broaden and expand our options through additional know-how.”