• Audi digital planning assistant recognised with Red Dot Design Award and German Design Award
  • NewAudi SDK developed in partnership with Munich start-up Innoactive
  • SDK to be integrated by the end of 2018 into wider Volkswagen Group VR platform, the Digital Reality Hub

Audi has won a Red Dot Design Award and German Design Award for its prototype digital planning assistant (dpa), an application for its product and production planners. The dpa, a tool for mobile devices, will give a shared working platform for all production and factory planning employees, with access to an up-to-date database networked across sites and departments.

Already in use in Ingolstadt for part of the assembly planning for the A3 model, the dpa has taken two years to develop. Its functions include automatic calculation and recommendation of the most economical plans, as well as transparent documentation of decisions. A second-generation iteration is under development, to be applied for series production throughout Audi’s operations.

As reported in AutomotiveIT International, Audi has already implemented training to enable automotive mechatronic technicians acquire skills to handle high-voltage technology and networked systems.

Audi is also implementing a Virtual Reality (VR) Software Development Kit (SDK), which will enable trainers to design virtual e-learning courses for employees without needing programming knowledge. Its modular system makes it easy to put together practice programs [pictured] for operative and process-oriented work routines, such as for tasks in logistics, service and production, and development of training is said to now be much faster and more cost-effective.

The SDK has so far been used for eight months at facilities in Ingolstadt and Neckarsulm, and 20 training courses in several languages have been created. One course trains apprentices in the ‘pick-by-light’ method, whereby a light signal indicates to the employee the required components and their quantity: 3D VR glasses allow the apprentice to practice work routines and move around a virtual workstation. Training sequences can be created to follow around 20 standard process steps.

Florian Kunz, a trainer in Ingolstadt, said in a statement: “Virtual-reality training is very popular with our employees. The gamification approach is fun, so it also improves the learning progress. If a trainee performs the tasks correctly, he or she receives points. In this way, the trainee learns the way through different levels, comparable to a video game.”

The Audi SDK – developed in partnership with Munich start-up Innoactive – will be integrated by the end of the year into the wider Volkswagen Group VR platform, the Digital Reality Hub, for use by trainers at the group’s other brands.

Audi is further testing concepts for training at its Academy in Ingolstadt, including the setting up of VR labs, self-learning and creative rooms, software labs plus production studios to create podcasts, screencasts and videos for training activities, with particular reference to digitalization and e-mobility.

-Farah Alkhalisi