Volkswagen Group of America is expanding its automotive research partnership with Stanford University with the contribution of $1.7 million.

With the contribution, new research will begin in the areas of virtual intelligence, material research, data security, and vehicle dynamics, the automaker said.

In addition to research projects, the contribution will go towards programs to help educate future engineers in computer science and electromechanical design giving them the tools to push the boundaries of automotive innovation.

According to Volkswagen, it plans to invest more than $5 billion in North America over the next three years in new products, technologies and infrastructure aimed at helping the company reach its long-term goals for the region.

In addition, Volkswagen has appointed Prof. Dr. Martin Winterkorn, chairman of the board of management, Volkswagen, to Stanford Engineering’s advisory board.

As a member of the Stanford advisory board, Winterkorn will offer perspective from the vantage point of a leading global corporation on broad strategic issues facing the school, its programs, and resources.

Source: Volkswagen

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