Volkswagen Corporation adopts new testing technology

The automotive giant has reported immediate success in testing its Infotainment Systems by using ABBYY Finereader Engine
 Volkswagen is renowned for embracing new technologies

Testing engineers from Volkswagen have introduced ABBYY FineReader Engine OCR technology to verify the content of its Infotainment Screens.

Volkswagen Corporation is using the software to support its main communication between the driver and vehicle, which takes place through its Infotainment System.

In order to pre-test the information, which the driver obtains from the Infotainment Systems while driving, the test engineers set up optical inspection systems. In the past Volkswagen used other text recognition systems but they had some disadvantages:

“To differentiate between real errors, and alleged error messages which were based on incorrectly recognised text, we had to continuously optimise and train the text recognition. This was a very time-consuming process,” said Rolf Nissen of the Volkswagen Interactive Electronics Department.

“For example, Dubai is a very interesting market for Volkswagen. However, the menu navigation for the cars which have been manufactured for this region is only available in English at the moment. This will soon change, so that Arabic will also become a part of the testing process.”

After looking at the challenges they faced, Volkswagen knew they needed to find a more robust OCR technology in order to better carry out their tests.

Volkswagen employees came across the ABBYY FineReader Engine software development kit and decision makers were quickly convinced about its advantages, including high OCR quality and accuracy; up to 198 recognition languages, including Arabic; special functions for pattern training and compiling dictionaries. Volkswagen testing engineers decided to adopt the solution for its testing process.

After six weeks of implementation the system was fully operational and, as a result, Volkswagen now reads and processes up to 600,000 characters a day using ABBYY FineReader Engine technology, a vast increase on previous quantitites.

Following this success, the new solution has been implemented at the remaining 60 testing facilities, with Infotainment Systems now being tested across even more Volkswagen models.

The test department put high demands on the performance of ABBYY FineReader Engine in its testing system.

“The results were extremely good. Although we did not measurably tweak the OCR technology, ABBYY FineReader Engine recognised text within complex images straightaway,” explained Serap Askar, Manager of Image Processing Department at the Volkswagen Test Facility.

“The API was so well documented that we could quickly implement the technology at five of our test facilities. The test points which are furnished with ABBYY FineReader Engine can respond flexibly, even to short-term changes, such as updates to the menu navigation. The results were comprehensible, reproducible, and applicable to other environments.”

The optical inspection system based on ABBYY FineReader Engine has significantly shortened testing times and has also contributed to a major increase in testing accuracy, and with more than 200,000 cars registered by Volkswagen Corporation customers in Germany in Q1/2011 alone, the increase in customer satisfaction has produced a significant reduction in costs for Volkswagen.


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