Information Technology (IT)

Increasing digitization and networking, end-to-end support for business processes and the development of new locations continually pose new challenges to the Group’s IT functions. A well-equipped, state-of-the-art infrastructure is essential in order to master them.

Ensuring that new developments in the application landscape are implemented efficiently at the corporate locations and incorporated into business processes and the sales network is just as vital. The IT staff are responsible not only for developing the systems at all of the Volkswagen Group’s brands, but also for supporting users in technical development, production and sales. This is how applications tailored to the exact needs of the users are created.

Volkswagen’s Data Lab is addressing the trend towards digitization. Its core task is to develop prototypes for innovative IT solutions in order to provide users with tailored products and offerings. This entails road-testing new technologies for analyzing large data volumes (big data) and networking vehicles with their environment. The Data Lab’s approach to working is highly networked. It cooperates with the Group’s specialist areas such as sales, as well as with external partners. Research institutes including the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität in Munich and the German Artificial Intelligence Research Center in Kaiserslautern, together with leading technology companies and start-ups all contribute their knowledge.

The growing convergence of production and IT is opening up new opportunities. Big data processes allow machine faults to be analyzed and corrected at an early stage. Big data makes it possible to analyze and evaluate data volumes that are too vast and too complex to be processed using manual or conventional methods. Volkswagen’s factory planners can use the “digital factory” to virtually walk through the buildings and test out their plans long before the ground is broken. The Group-wide “Fertigungs-, Informations- und Steuerungssystem” (FIS – Production, Information and Control System) ensures that the right vehicle is built at the right time on the production line. This results in even more efficient, more resource-friendly, even faster production processes.

More and more, customers expect to find innovative communications technology and IT in the Volkswagen Group’s vehicles – such as networking the vehicle to the occupants’ own devices or to the Internet. Mobile online services, in the new Passat for example, have been greatly extended to meet these customer requirements, setting new standards in their respective vehicle segments.

Data security is a key concern for the Group’s IT function. Volkswagen therefore insists on the highest security standards when transferring data between vehicles and data centers. In addition, systematic staff training and the use of state-of-the-art technical tools minimize the risk of unauthorized access to sensitive data.