Ericsson and Audi plan to test the use of the emerging 5G mobile phone and network technology for automotive production for the first time. The two companies have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) at Audi’s headquarters in Ingolstadt (Germany).
At Audi’s headquarters in Ingolstadt, Germany, the two companies have agreed on a range of activities exploring the potential of 5G as a future-proof communication technology that can meet the high demands of automotive production.
In the coming months, experts from both companies will run field tests in a technical center of the “Audi Production Lab” in Gaimersheim, Germany.
Frank Loydl, Chief Information Officer at Audi, commented, “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.”
In addition, Audi and Ericsson are exploring whether 5G can be used in other Audi Group factories.
Erik Ekudden, Group CTO at Ericsson, also noted, “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.”
5G is the next generation of mobile communications, which will extend the performance of today’s mobile networks to serve the future needs of consumers and industries. 5G networks will deliver a better and faster broadband experience for consumers, while for businesses 5G will be an enabler to open up new applications for everything from connected vehicles to the smart factories of tomorrow.
The planned infrastructure at the technical center in Gaimersheim will include the implementation of 5G technologies in a simulated production environment that mirrors those of Audi’s plant in Ingolstadt and other locations. The laboratory will be equipped with Ericsson’s Proof-of-Concept (PoC) network which is an open trial facility to enable early deployments of 5G technology. The network is designed to integrate alternative or complementary technologies to the ones currently in use, including WiFi or wireless LAN, or wired (Ethernet) connectivity of production components.
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