The Volkswagen Group is taking over BlackBerry's European research and development centre in Bochum, Germany.

The automaker said that, through newly formed Volkswagen Infotainment, it was "further expanding its expertise and capabilities in the field of vehicle connectivity".

"With its objective of interlinking vehicles and the surrounding world, the field of 'connectivity' forms a focal point of research and development within the VW Group that has seen rapid growth in recent years. New strategies and innovations are needed in order that interlinking driver and automobile with the infrastructure can be further optimised," VW said in a statement.

While the exchange of information between vehicle and mobile devices, such as MP3 players, smart phones and car keys, is already taking place today, in the near future further forms of communication will become equally established: communication between vehicle and the driver's home or office; communication between vehicle and filling stations, parking spaces and road infrastructure (car-to-X communication); and ultimately also from vehicle to vehicle (car-to-car communication). It will be possible in this way to provide drivers with very prompt information of any hold-ups or obstructions, VW said.

Development division chief Heinz-Jakob Neußer said: "Connectivity will be a key feature of the car of the future. Many customers are expecting connected vehicles of a new dimension in terms of convenience and road safety. Around the globe, our customers' aspirations will change rapidly, leading to shortened cycles of innovation for systems and functions. In order to be able to meet these challenges it is necessary for us to broaden and expand our options through additional know-how."