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innovationWorldwide, the Volkswagen Group has a long tradition of dramatic innovations — including the automatic parking system, DSG gearbox, pump/nozzle technology and direct injection gasoline engines.

Here in the US, we are blending German engineering with American ingenuity. Located in the heart of Silicon Valley, the Volkswagen Electronics Research Laboratory (ERL) is becoming the epicenter of vehicle electronics expertise in North America. The ERL team of engineers works with researchers and development teams in the US, Germany and across the globe. Our mission is to develop innovations and technologies for future generations of cars, and to transfer technologies from many industries into the automotive domain.

Ongoing ERL initiatives include:

  • Autonomous Driving, a research partnership with Stanford University that’s generating a lot of buzz about the potential for driverless vehicles
  • eMobility Technology, which is being designed to improve battery performance in electric vehicles and help make the zero-emissions mobility practical for everyday drivers
  • The Navigation Companion tool, an online portal that helps drivers find, save or share their destinations, and then transfer that information to their new Volkswagen navigation system
  • Picture Navigation, which allows users to create geo-tagged pictures, transfer them to their vehicle nav system, and share them with other drivers
  • Connectivity-Enabled Eco–Conscious Driving, which involves developing systems that can automatically find the most fuel-economical route to any destination
  • Smart Engines that use real-time driver, terrain and climate data to make automated engine control decisions to improve comfort and overall efficiency
  • Vehicle Infrastructure Integration, enabling collaborative networks of cars that communicate can avoid creating traffic jams and safely avoid collisions
  • Human Factors Research, using test cars and a driving simulator that mimics everyday driving experience to improve driver-vehicle interaction
  • Usability Competency, making electronic innovations as safe and user-friendly as possible