Ericsson places Audi in the driving seat for 5G car production

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Audi and Ericsson are to run 5G trials in the car manufacturer's production lab to explore how the technology could aid vehicle construction.

The two companies signed a memorandum of understanding that will lead to technicians from both businesses running field tests at Audi's facilities in Gaimersheim, Germany.

The first project will centre on developing a latency-critical gluing application used in automobile body construction by wirelessly connected production robots.

Ericsson will implement 5G technologies in a test environment mirroring Audi's production facilities in Ingolstadt and other locations. The vendor's proof of concept network will be integrated with alternative connectivity such as Wi-Fi, wireless LAN, or fixed line.

Erik Ekudden, Group CTO at Ericsson, said: “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.”

Frank Loydl, Chief Information Officer at AUDI AG, added: “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.”

The partnership follows a recent announcement from Ericsson about its involvement in a connected car trial with Japan's NTT DOCOMO using glass antennas.

Earlier this week, the Swedish vendor said speeds of 8GBps were hit by a vehicle travelling around 100 km/h using the 28GHz band.

The antennas were built by Japanese glass manufacturer AGC and received and transmitted waves through beamforming.