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Volkswagen providing e-Golf to Stanford for research

Volkswagen Group of America (VWGoA) will provide an battery-electric 2015 Volkswagen e-Golf (earlier post) to Stanford University for research dedicated to advancing e-mobility and improving the driver experience in electric vehicles.

Prof. Dr. Martin Winterkorn, Chairperson of the Board of Directors, Volkswagen of America and a member of Stanford Engineering Advisory Board, presented the vehicle at Stanford on November 6. Persis S. Drell, the Frederick Emmons Terman Dean of the Stanford School of Engineering; Sven Beiker Ph.D., Executive Director, Center for Automotive Research (CARS); and Dr. Wendy Ju, Ph.D., Executive Director for Interaction Design Research, Center for Design Research (CDR), accepted the keys on behalf of the principal investigators, Stanford Engineering professors Fritz Prinz and Larry Leifer.

The all-new e-Golf operates solely on an efficient 24.2 kWh lithium-ion battery.

The Volkswagen e-Golf will initially be provided to the Volkswagen Automotive Innovation Laboratory (VAIL), located on the Stanford campus, to offer researchers the opportunity to evaluate the vehicle and inspire new research themes.

Beginning in 2015, the e-Golf will be used for a one-year research project focused on advancing the driver experience and understanding of e-mobility to help drivers feel more confident and empowered driving an electric vehicle. With the goal of helping drivers maximize EV benefits and reduce energy usage, researchers from Stanford will work with the ERL to study driver behavior and provide real-time feedback on behaviors that waste energy.

In addition to the vehicle loan, Volkswagen Group of America will join the Stanford University CDR Industry Affiliates Program. Membership further expands Volkswagen’s research collaboration with Stanford and provides dedicated students and academic resource support to help advance the electric vehicle study, as well as other engineering design research initiatives.

In 2009, the VWGoA invested $5.75 million in the creation of the VAIL with Stanford, and then further expanded the research partnership in 2013 with an additional $1.7 million donation. Since 2009, VAIL has conducted numerous breakthrough research projects in several areas including autonomous transportation, vehicle dynamics, safety, and environmental performance.

In addition to funding, VWGoA continues to provide resources, vehicles, technical expertise and access to the ERL for Stanford researchers actively collaborating on various automotive and technology projects.

Volkswagen Group of America’s Electronics Research Laboratory (ERL) located in Belmont, California represents the company’s applied research and development initiatives in North America. With a focus on advanced technology, the ERL’s mission is to develop innovations for future generations of vehicles with the goal of transferring technologies from many industries into the automotive domain. The ERL was established in August 1998 with three employees and today has grown to become the Volkswagen Group’s largest research facility outside of Germany employing approximately 140 engineers, social scientists, researchers, and product designers.


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