CSE498, Collaborative Design, Spring 2019
Computer Science and Engineering
Michigan State University

Volkswagen Group of America is the North American operation headquarters and subsidiary of the Volkswagen Group, which is comprised of 16 brands producing a variety of cars, motorcycles and commercial vehicles.

Volkswagen uses sophisticated robotic automation in direct manufacturing processes. By contrast, the indirect and administrative processes are yet to be automated on a large scale. With a workforce of over 600,000 employees, roughly 400,000 workers spend much of their day executing repetitive tasks.

Our Cognitive Enterprise Software Robots, referred to as softbots, take over manual work a human is performing on a computer and act as an intelligent co-worker.

For example, a Volkswagen Logistics Specialist spends several hours a day contacting suppliers to ensure all deliveries arrive on time. An employee must continuously look up shipments in a spreadsheet and compare the expected delivery date with the current date.

If the expected delivery date is five days or less away, the employee must send a reminder email to the supplier that the shipment has not arrived yet.

Using a technique called deep learning, our softbots learn a business process and execute it on the human’s behalf. The employee is now able to focus on more complex tasks.

Our softbots use a recurrent neural network to predict future clicks in a click stream. Utilizing natural language processing, the bots parse emails and then perform the appropriate actions.