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Volkswagen Group launches Future Center Europe: focus on future mobility concepts

The Volkswagen Group has taken an additional important step to implementing its digitalization strategy with the launch of the Future Center Europe, located in Potsdam, Germany.

Volkswagen says that it intends to link the automotive and digital worlds in a way that benefits customers, society and the economy—and to promote the Volkswagen Group to become the leading mobility provider by 2025. The Future Center’s functions therefore go beyond standard product development.

The Potsdam Center is joining forces with the affiliated Future Centers California and Asia for customer experience, interface design, operating logic, interior concept, infotainment and entertainment.

With our interdisciplinary teams of designers and digitalization experts, we are developing the mobility of the future, and we are reinventing the automobile in close collaboration with our strong brands. We want to grow from a hardware company to an integrated hardware, software and service company.

—Johann Jungwirth, Chief Digital Officer of the Volkswagen Group

As a globally positioned company operating across the world, the Volkswagen Group now has 39 Centers of Competence and IT labs located in Europe, North America and Asia. (Earlier post.) The research carried out by the workforce of more than 2,000 experts focuses on artificial intelligence, networking, virtual reality, and mobility on demand.

Fully automated driving will fundamentally change people’s expectations of mobility and the use and functions of their vehicles. Interface design, operating logic, interior concepts as well as infotainment and entertainment offers will change radically when driving an automobile is no longer at the center of attention.

People’s experience is now the focal point for the Future Centers as they develop new concepts. Our mindset, actions and decisions always put the user at the center.

—Ulrike Müller, Head of Future Center Europe, User Experience (UX) Design

Volkswagen is therefore building on the systematic collaboration of vehicle design and UX design.

—Peter Wouda, Head of Future Center Europe, Vehicle Design

Interdisciplinary teams work hand in hand to develop the novel design around the users.

If passengers no longer need to focus on driving, it will allow for completely new vehicle concepts. Every development begins with a user story. We ask: what kind of life do the people for whom we are building the car lead? What are their requirements for mobility and how can we fulfil their aspirations in the best possible way?

—Michael Mauer, Volkswagen’s Chief Designer


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