Volkswagen is taking over BlackBerry’s European R&D centre and creating a new division to coordinate activities in connectivity and information exchange – Volkswagen Infotainment GmbH.
The new division will be based at the former BlackBerry centre in Bochum, Germany: its objective is “interlinking vehicles and the surrounding world”.
Dr. Heinz-Jakob Neußer, member of the Board of Management Volkswagen Brand for the Development Division, said: “Connectivity will be a key feature of the car of the future. Many customers are expecting connected vehicles of a new dimension in terms of convenience and road safety.
“In order to be able to meet these challenges it is necessary for us to broaden and expand our options through additional know-how.” Hence taking over the Blackberry European HQ.
Volkswagen and Infotainment
Information exchange between cars and smartphones is already taking place, says Volkswagen (we do this each time we Bluetooth a phone call through the stereo). It’s the near-term establishment of other forms of communication that the firm’s looking at. Examples it details include:
- Between vehicle and driver’s home and office
- Between vehicles and filling stations
- Between vehicles and parking meters
- Between vehicles and road infrastructure (car-to-X communication)
- Vehicle-to-vehicle (the ultimate goal)
By taking over the BlackBerry European division and combining it with its own expertise, Volkswagen Group is aiming to play a leading role in the rollout of such technologies. It may well prove to be the vital connection Volkswagen needs.