Joint press release of Volkswagen AG and DFKI: Volkswagen participates in German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI)

Volkswagen is participating in the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI), the world’s largest and most renowned scientific institution specializing in artificial intelligence (AI). By acquiring a stake in DFKI , the Volkswagen Group is reinforcing its research activities in the field of future-oriented digital technologies.

VW AG Logo

Board of Management Chairman Müller: “An investment in our future”
Company forges ahead with key technologies for autonomous driving and the digital factory
Key topics: artificial intelligence, machine learning


“Artificial intelligence is a key technology for autonomous driving and therefore an investment in our future,” says Matthias Müller, Chairman of the Board of Management of the Volkswagen Group. “In future, our participation will allow us to work even more intensively in this area. 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 digitalization of our plants and the continuing automation of corporate processes.”

“Through its participation in DFKI, Volkswagen will gain access to the latest results and know-how of our research center, especially from our recently established Deep Learning Competence Center,” Prof. Wolfgang Wahlster, CEO of DFKI, emphasized. “I am very pleased that will be able to contribute this knowledge to joint projects. For both parties, this represents a great opportunity to make further progress in the field of AI.”

In addition to research in artificial intelligence, DFKI specializes in the fields of robotics, Industry 4.0 and driver assistance systems. In a joint project, Volkswagen and DFKI have therefore started to develop the software framework Rock further to allow direct, close cooperation between human beings and robots. The system was presented in a near- production scenario at the Volkswagen AG IT Symposium 2016. Key features include the measurement of ambient conditions using several sensors, collision detection and avoidance as well as intuitive gesture control.

Volkswagen and DFKI have cooperated on projects with and without public support for many years. The results of this cooperation include, for example, the prototype of a smart car seat that can detect driver fatigue. By acquiring a share in DFKI, Volkswagen has intensified the existing cooperation. Volkswagen will appoint a member to the DFKI Supervisory Board and play an active role in shaping the Center’s technology and research roadmap. This will accelerate the transfer of innovations from high-level research to society and industry.


Joint press release VW DFKI 

Prof. Wolfgang Wahlster (CEO, DFKI), Dr. Martin Hofmann (CIO, Volkswagen Group), Matthias Müller (CEO, Volkswagen Group), Dr. Karlheinz Blessing (Board Member for Human Resources, Volkswagen Group), Bernd Osterloh (Chairman of the Group Works Council, Volkswagen Group), Prof. Jürgen Leohold (Head of Volkswagen Group Research). Photo: Volkswagen Group

About the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence

The German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence is a leading research institute in the field of artificial intelligence. In terms of number of employees and the volume of external funds (€42.5 million in 2015), it is the largest research center in the world in this field. More than 750 employees from over 60 countries are currently working on new software solutions, especially in the fields of machine learning, autonomous systems, robotics, data analysis, virtual reality and intelligent factory systems.


Volkswagen Group Communications
Spokesperson Human Resources 
Markus Schlesag
Phone: +49 (0) 5361 / 9-87115
Fax: +49 (0) 5361 / 957-15363


Volkswagen Group Communications
IT Communications
Lasse Osteneck
Phone +49 (0) 5361 / 9-42172
Fax: +49 (0) 5361 / 957-42172


German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence
Corporate Spokesperson of DFKI
Reinhard Karger
Phone: +49 (0) 681 / 85775-5253