German car maker invests in Artificial Intelligence

| Transport

AI research partnership at Volkswagen

Volkswagen is taking a stake in scientific AI institution to expand its research into vehicle safety and automation.

DFKI, the German Research Centre for Artificial Intelligence, has received investment from German vehicle manufacturer, Volkswaken, which hopes to benefit from the research institution’s expertise in robotics, driver assist systems and artificial intelligence (AI).

One project which the two organisations are involved in is the development of a software framework called ROCK, which enables close cooperation between humans and highly autonomous systems like robots. Applications of the framework include detection systems, collision avoidance and driver gesture control.

Commenting on the need to invest in AI as a key technology for autonomous driving, VW’s Chairman, Matthias Müller said, “Our participation with DFKI will allow us to work more intensively in the area of AI and autonomy. We want to forge ahead with AI research in the automotive industry and beyond. We also expect our participation in DFKI to provide new impetus for the digitisation of our plants and the continuing automation of corporate processes.”

DFKI’s CEO, Professor Wolfgang Wahlster stated that he was pleased to be able to contribute to joint projects, which represent a good opportunity to make progress in AI. He told us, “Through its participation in DFKI, Volkswagen will gain access to the latest results and know-how of our research centre, especially from our recently established Deep Learning Competence Centre.”

This isn’t the first time that VW and DFKI have been involved in cooperative projects as the two companies have done so for a number of years. Their cooperation in the past has resulted in a smart car seat for the detection of driver fatigue.

Jonathan Newell
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