The Audi Future Factory – bringing the future forward​​

The Audi Future Factory – words that may well conjure up images the likes of which might have in the past only been seen in a film. But are flying, driverless, remote-controlled, uber-intelligent, conversing and cognitive cars are no longer to be realised only in the mind of science fiction writers, but in reality?

The Future Factory is made up of a team of specially skilled engineers working together in Audi’s Ingolstadt base. Felix Schwabe, Alois Brandt and Fabian Rusitschka are the masterminds behind the Future Factory and along with their colleagues are creating and conceptualising weird and wonderful things on the factory floor.

So, what exactly will you find at the Future Factory? Let’s start with robots! These artificially intelligent super ‘bots will work hand-in-hand with Audi’s staff, mainly performing repetitive tasks and acting as assistants.​​

However, there’s no need to worry about robots replacing humans, as Dr. Hubert Waltl who stands on Audi’s Board of Management for Production explains, robots “will become more connected, more intelligent and more efficient. At the same time, our employees will continue to be the drivers of successful production.”​

Because everything will be communicating with everything else, it makes sense that this data will need to be managed from somewhere. Even without any new scientific advancements, Audi data as it stands is already so large it’s impossible to manage. For example, every single fitting station uses up one gigabyte of data per day, just in documenting that it has correctly positioned all its fasteners. So, as technology advances and individualisation is implemented, the size and complexity of how it can be processed is unfathomable. That’s where the ‘The Tower’ will be utilised. The tower will dictate workflow and keep tabs on production, not just through information and technology systems, but also physically, by putting humans in the middle of the action with a panoramic view. Being able to see where problems may be occurring from the vantage point of the tower will mean they will be solved in speedier and more efficient manner – sometimes it’s the simple things that work best!​

The Future

Factory certainly seems to be generating a lot of speculation. Audi’s vision is

‘post 2030’ so it might still be some years before these goals are actualised.

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