VW partners with Plug and Play to spur connected car of future
Volkswagen Group of America's electronics research laboratory is teaming up with Silicon Valley's Plug and Play Tech Center to create an incubator for next-generation automotive technologies.
VW said it wants to pick 10 technology startups to join the program.
Those chosen will be accepted into Plug and Play, a Sunnyvale, Calif., company founded in 2006 that helps early-stage startups try to commercialize an idea or technology.
Participating companies will receive access to hundreds of investors, companies and mentors within Plug and Play's network, as well as office space and other support.
The partnership with Plug and Play is aimed at helping VW tap entrepreneurs to develop connected vehicles of the future.
VW said the program is accepting applications from technology startups in several categories: social media/recommendation engines, vehicle-related mobile device integration, parking apps, detection apps, display/data integration, voice/sound recognition and visual computing.
Automakers are turning to Silicon Valley for vehicle technologies that will give them an edge with tech-savvy consumers.
Ford Motor Co. recently set up a research lab in Silicon Valley and VW has operated a research lab in the region for years.
"Innovation is an integral part of Volkswagen Group's long-term product strategy and we take every opportunity to engage the brightest minds in technology to help define the future direction of automobiles," Peter Oel, executive director of the VW Group's electronics research laboratory, said in a statement.
VW's lab, now Belmont, Calif., was formed in August 1998. It is the VW Group's largest research center outside of Germany, with about 100 engineers, social scientists, researchers and product designers, the automaker says.
Ryan Beene contributed to this report