Smart data

Making targeted use of available data about vehicles, customers, business processes, and so on: that’s the mission of a new laboratory of the Volkswagen Group’s IT department. Computer scientists, statisticians and computational linguists there are examining how intelligent data analysis can be used to improve quality and service as well as reducing costs.


  • Numerous specialists in the Data Lab work on key technologies. This think tank secures knowledge and talent for the Volkswagen Group.
  • The work of the Data Lab is systematically oriented to issues of the future – digitization, the Internet of Things and Industry 4.0.

Customer wishes

  • By analyzing all the information entered in the internet configurator and combining it with other data, Volkswagen knows early on what customers will order in the future. This makes planning easier and cuts delivery times.
  • Popular combinations of features can be identified across brands and then offered as packages or special models.


  • Sleep longer but still arrive at your destination on time: the “intelligent alarm clock” uses current traffic and weather data to calculate the ideal wake-up time.
  • Traffic density can be predicted much more accurately thanks to new mathematical processes and algorithms that recommend an alternative route and help drivers to avoid traffic jams.


  • The Data Lab works as a technology scout for the entire Volkswagen Group.
  • A large number of partners, from technology companies through universities down to start-ups, make available their knowledge, tools and talent, for example to analyze large volumes of data rapidly.


  • Customer complaints from all over the world are automatically analyzed very quickly. That improves quality and speeds up the response to customer feedback.
  • Commercial vehicles need to come into the workshop less often if failure patterns can be identified at an early stage and repairs can be coordinated.


  • Cars and homes exchange data – and the central heating comes on exactly when the driver is on the way home.
  • How much fuel am I using compared with other drivers on the same stretch of road? Fuel-saving tips can be identified by analyzing driving data precisely.
Cornelia Schaurecker (photo)

Cornelia Schaurecker

IT expert Cornelia Schaurecker (38) has been in charge of the new Volkswagen Data Lab in Munich since the middle of 2013. She uses various approaches such as Design Thinking, a method developed in the USA, to structure her team’s ideas. A number of different demonstration projects and prototypes show what is already technically possible today. For example: at CeBIT, the leading IT fair, Data Lab continually analyzed how visitors used the shuttle vehicles provided from the Volkswagen e-up! fleet – a potential method for optimizing traffic flows and saving energy.

Johannes Winterhagen

Hartmut Nägele