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Inside Volkswagen’s AI Unit: Reviving The Motor City Detroit


Inside Volkswagen’s AI Unit: Reviving The Motor City Detroit

  • Volkswagen aims to empower the people in Detroit with the power of AI.
Inside Volkswagen’s AI Unit: Reviving The Motor City Detroit

German car manufacturer Volkswagen aims to bring a breath of innovation to Detroit, Michigan, by establishing its AI unit dedicated to research and development.

The advancements in the competition, such as Hyundai’s new AI-based voice recognition technology, set to release this year, along with new Elantra learning the habits utilised by the driver for a better motorist experience, seems to be the motivation of Volkswagen to take a bigger step in the direction of AI by establishing its research and development unit in the motor city.

The main reason for the German-based car manufacturer to focus on AI is not only for their line of vehicles but also to utilise the benefits of future technologies in making their automotive factories more efficient along with creating effective business strategies to garner a higher amount of sales.

Commenting on this new venture by the automobile creator, Johan de Nysschen, CEO of Volkswagen Group of America, said, “We want to leverage new opportunities in applied artificial intelligence to further improve products and services for our customers, supporting our employees and become even more efficient as a company,”

For the benefit of all

Leading the AI initiative on behalf of Volkswagen in the motor city is Daniel Weimar. Delegating his work to his team of specialist and software engineers in the field of machine learning and artificial intelligence, he is tasked with the objective to unravel and deploy various advancements in AI for the company’s benefit. Evidence of this corresponding advancement can be seen in action when observing the AI-based scheduling tool used in the Chattanooga plant, which effectively and efficiently handles the different competencies and expertise of around 2000 different workers to allocate each one a task to be done with perfection.

This application has been proven and tested to be effective since it has been reported to significantly reduce worker stress and also the chance of employees taking leaves. This is all due to the AI’s ability to swiftly observe and spot valuable keys of information in huge quantities of data, which helps top management derive new structures of business and incentives.

Daniel Weimar and his team’s main task is to observe the latest innovations in the sector of AI, which consist of understanding new methods in the field of machine learning and work intensely with Volkswagen’s group of brands. This, in turn, leads to the team’s capability to create and deploy AI-based solutions that are constantly updated with the latest data from various parts of the company. 

Comparing the human mind to that of an AI, Daniel Weimar commented that “AI is a toolbox of technologies to create smart solutions. We’re trying to teach a computer to do things that are straightforward for humans, like understanding spoken language that can then be applied through software to real-world challenges”. 

This can be seen in momentum when observing the project, developed by the AI unit to sift through a vast and varied amount of documents. This is done with the help of an NLP model, which observes various reports and claims while cross-referencing to verify for similarities and patterns. The AI unit in Detroit is developing these kinds of programs and software under the watchful eyes of Daniel Weimar and his team of scientists. 

Not only they aim to empower the employee with the force of AI but also to create ingenious answers to problems faced in the real world of the car manufacturing industry.

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“It is key to develop technologies that serve and support Volkswagen employees,” said the Head of Artificial Intelligence at Volkswagen as he observes to provide a better infrastructure to the worker. Weimar also commented that the AI could handle tedious tasks such as finding a pattern in terabytes of data while leaving humans to execute better decisions as they are naturally more innovative and creative.

It also must be spotted out that this is not the first time Volkswagen has utilised the power of AI. The company has integrated AI to optimise incentive programs and also to position different carlines for launch. This is executed by dragging huge quantities of data through an algorithm which significantly can reduce the number of assumptions at a model launch. 

Panning out

Commenting on the AI unit’s location, Daniel Weimar emphasised that Volkswagen purposefully chose Detroit due to the high level of intelligence carried by its populous in terms of vehicles. This can be regarded in a way that the AI unit might be looking for a new acquisition in terms of intelligence and manpower to further develop this venture. 

“There’s all the infrastructure and talent here, along with a great attitude of wanting to redefine the industry. There’s no other place where you can find that,” said the Head of Artificial Intelligence at Volkswagen as he hints to utilise the infrastructure around him, people or machine, for the further growth of the AI unit. 

Thus, it can easily be stated that the power of AI is encouraging and makes the industry hopeful to imagine what a dormant city like Detroit can be in the near future. With that being said, it is also good to think that various other cities which have been in sleep since the global depression might come to life due to the innovation of AI if it is deployed to make professional life more efficient and effective for all its users.

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