VW invests $180m in artificial intelligence JV

Volkswagen and leading Chinese artificial intelligence (AI) company Mobvoi have entered a joint venture strategic partnership to develop and implement AI technologies in cars.

Volkswagen will invest $180m in the venture.

“Utilizing Mobvoi’s leading voice recognition, natural language processing technologies, vertical searchand proactive search, together with Volkswagen’s leading position as an automotive and mobility player, the joint venture shall continue to explore and provide the answer to the future smart mobility,” said Volkswagen.

The joint venture will develop products for Volkswagen models and other brands.

Initial products will include Mobvoi’s existing smart rearview mirror, which provides navigation, POI (points of interest) search, instant messaging, and on-board infotainment via voice input.

The joint venture partners believe the technologies will be attractive throughout the automotive industry and are open to developing products for other brands.

Jochem Heizmann, CEO of Volkswagen Group China, said: “This partnership is a particular example of Volkswagen’s determination to work with groundbreaking Chinese tech companies like Mobvoi.

“We are impressed by Mobvoi’s innovative approach of AI technology, and we are pleased to form this joint venture to explore the next generation of smart mobility.

“With the new joint venture we promote people oriented mobility for our customers in China, along with the potential to be adopted globally.”

Mobvoi CEO Zhifei Li said: “Mobvoi’s mission has always been redefining the next generation human-machine interaction and this joint venture will provide us a new platform to do so together with Volkswagen Group.”

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Mark McSherry
Dalriada Media LLC sites are edited by veteran news journalist Mark McSherry, a former staff editor and reporter with Reuters, Bloomberg and major newspapers including the South China Morning Post, London's Sunday Times and The Scotsman. McSherry's journalism has also appeared in The Washington Post, The Guardian, The Independent, The New York Times, London's Evening Standard and Forbes. McSherry is also a professor of journalism and communication arts in universities and colleges in New York City. Scottish-born McSherry has an MBA from the University of Edinburgh and a Certificate in Global Affairs from New York University.