Image: Audi

Audi is working with Ericsson to explore the application of 5G communication in vehicle production. The two firms have signed a memorandum of understanding, and will run field tests at a technical center at Audi’s ‘Production Lab’ in Gaimersheim, Germany.

5G is said to offer network characteristics that serve the increasingly flexible and complex production processes, allowing for faster data throughput, faster response times between equipment and more network capacity, as well as security. The first phase of the project will test a latency-critical application using wirelessly connected robots that are equipped with a glueing application for body construction.

The Gaimersheim lab will simulate the environment at Ingolstadt and Audi’s other locations, and will be equipped with Ericsson’s proof of concept network, an open trial facility which can integrate with existing technologies such as wifi, wireless LAN or ethernet connectivity of production components.

Frank Loydl, Audi’s chief information officer, said in a statement: “The fully networked factory will have a significant impact on the production of the future. A powerful network architecture that can respond in real time is of decisive importance for us. As part of the project with our partner Ericsson, we are testing the opportunities offered by 5G technology for industrial applications in the smart factory.”

Erik Ekudden, Ericsson’s Group CTO, added: “Ericsson is already running 5G industry programs all over the world to help manufacturers boost productivity and create new business opportunities. This project is a great opportunity to see what is possible when we bring 5G into an automobile production environment to truly enable smart wireless manufacturing.”

-Farah Alkhalisi