Volkswagen Group Future Center Europe: Interdisciplinary team for the mobility of the future
- Novel collaboration focusing on the user: Vehicle design and user experience (UX) design work hand in hand for future mobility concepts.
- Volkswagen Group Future Center Europe provides results for the Volkswagen Group’s digital strategy.
Wolfsburg, 3 March, 2017 – The Volkswagen Group has taken an additional important step with their digitalization strategy to create the mobility of the future by opening the Future Center Europe located in Potsdam, Germany. Launched at the Geneva Motor Show 2017, the Center has started working in its innovative team structures. Initial ideas and concepts are already there to see.
CEO of the Volkswagen Group, Matthias Müller, and Chief Digital Officer Johann Jungwirth sent a strong signal about the mobility of the future at the Geneva Motor Show 2016. Volkswagen intends to link the automotive and digital worlds in a way that benefits customers, society and the economy – and promote the Volkswagen Group to become the leading mobility provider by 2025.
The Future Center’s functions therefore go beyond standard product development. The Center is joining forces with the affiliated Future Centers California and Asia to take the Volkswagen Group’s vehicles to the top 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,” said Johann Jungwirth, Chief Digital Officer of the Volkswagen Group. As a globally positioned company operating across the world, the Volkswagen Group has 39 Centers of Competence and IT labs located in Europe, North America and Asia. The research carried out by the workforce of more than 2,000 experts focuses on artificial intelligence, networking, virtual reality, and mobility on demand. This approach guarantees a high level of agility for implementation of the Group strategy.
Fully automated driving will fundamentally change people’s expectations of mobility and the use and functions of their vehicles. “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, describes work at the Future Center. 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,” commented 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,” added Peter Wouda, Head of Future Center Europe, Vehicle Design. Interdisciplinary teams work hand in hand to develop the novel design around the users.
Even the interior of the Future Center immediately shows how new avenues have been explored in development. Simulators equipped with virtual reality glasses have been set up in a large hall. Seating bucks loosely resembling car seats and a cockpit are placed between consoles. The mounted screens and sensors allow employees to test new developments directly. “Flat organizational structures and a pragmatic team culture at the Future Center are also reflected in the open offices, co-working spaces, and transparent design. We have an exceptionally creative and strong team, which closely integrates customers and users in its design mindset and development process like never before. In short, we deliberately generate a creative start-up atmosphere. That attracts the right people. This approach makes us a trailblazer for the entire enterprise,” said Jungwirth.
Acting worldwide as a global enterprise, the Volkswagen Group additionally operates 37 competence centers and IT labs in Europe, North America and Asia. Over 2.000 experts focusing on artificial intelligence, interconnectivity, virtual reality and mobility on demand ensure highly agile implementation of the corporate strategy.
Volkswagen – Future Center Potsdam