Volvo Financial Services is leveraging the start of its iLabX accelerator program to determine “technology disruptors” ripe for investment, Vice President of Global Strategy and Head of Innovation Allen Atchley told Auto Finance News.
To start, investments in artificial intelligence and blockchain “are the most interesting to us, especially in the lab context,” he said. However, determining the value of artificial intelligence is going to take time, and while blockchain holds promise, skepticism remains.
“There is some proof [blockchain] technology needs to scale for us to determine if it can replace what we are doing today,” Atchley said.
Incorporating the iLabX program, which gives seven startups an opportunity to develop ideas and utilize the captive’s resources over 10 weeks, speeds the process of determining what technologies VFS will implement internally.
“We are trying to find companies that are disrupting the existing way that things are getting done,” Atchley said. For instance, the payment startups in the accelerator “disrupt that whole [traditional] model,” he said, adding that “even if those solutions aren’t ready for commercial today, that helps us modulate the investments we are making.”
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