Volkswagen Group of America has given a new name and expanded role to its former Electronics Research Laboratory (ERL) in Silicon Valley, which is now badged the Innovation and Engineering Center California (IECC). The center is the largest Volkswagen vehicle research facility outside Germany, and serves as the heart of an expansion of Volkswagen’s North American engineering resources.
“The future of the Volkswagen Group will be defined by our success in developing new technology that is designed to meet our customers’ needs,” said Scott Keogh, president and CEO, Volkswagen Group of America. “As we roll out the next generation of electric and autonomous vehicles, innovation will increasingly define who we are.”
The former ERL served as the Volkswagen Group’s research and innovation hub in Silicon Valley for more than 20 years. It grew from just three employees when it was founded in 1998, to more than 180 engineers, social scientists, researchers and product designers. Over the past two decades the campus helped develop several key vehicle technologies, such as predictive navigation and online speech.
The IECC will comprise two entities: the Innovation Center California (ICC) and the Engineering Center California (ECC). The ICC is one of three global group innovation centers that will be tasked with key ‘lighthouse projects’ and will focus on bilateral research and pre-development projects for VW Group brands.
The ECC will focus on connected car, intelligent cockpit, and autonomous driving and parking development projects in the North American region.