Audi and Ericsson Team up to Bring 5G to Automotive Manufacturing

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【Summary】German Automaker, Audi, and telecommunications company, Ericsson, are trying 5G wireless at a plant in Germany. Initially, the technology will be tested on assembly line robots.

Mia Bevacqua    Aug 11, 2018 6:00 AM PT
Audi and Ericsson Team up to Bring 5G to Automotive Manufacturing

Fifth generation cellular, otherwise known as 5G, is the latest and greatest in wireless communication. It promises to outdo the current 4G standard with faster data transfer rates and greater responsiveness. 

Soon, Audi and telecommunications company, Ericsson, will use the technology for automotive manufacturing.

Ericsson and Audi test 5G in automotive plant

Ericsson was founded nearly two centuries ago in Stockholm, Sweden. Audi, on the other hand, was established in 1910, in Zwickau, Germany. Now, these two long-standing companies will come together to pioneer 5G in automotive plants.

The endeavor is getting underway at Audi's production lab in Gaimersheim, Germany. Both parties signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and will begin running field tests there. 

Ericsson's Proof-of-Concept (PoC) network will be included at the facility. The system integrates alternative technologies, like 5G, with current systems like WiFi and LAN.

Frank Loydl, Chief Information Officer at AUDI AG, says: "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."

Why 5G is so appealing 

5G has many characteristics that are desirable for industrial applications. Highlights include faster data rates, greater network capacity and quick response times between equipment. 

But auto plants aren't the only place the 5G is useful.The communication medium promises cellular connections that are 10 to 100 times faster than the current 4G. Not only will this allow for enhanced smartphone use, but it will also help promote the internet of the things (IoT). Everything – including self-driving cars – may soon be talking over a 5G network.

Faster data rates phased in a little at a time 

Initially, Audi and Ericsson will try 5G technology on wirelessly connected production robots. As for the rest of the world, 5G is still a little ways off. Early 5G networks are expected to begin emerging later this year, but broad availability isn't expected until late 2019 or early 2020. 

sources: Ericcson and CNET

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