Audi, FAW partner to produce EVs in China
The MoU was signed during the Germany-China Automobile Conference which is currently taking place in Changchun, northern China.
Audi is set to bring the Premium Platform Electric (PPE), which was jointly developed with Porsche to further accelerate the transformation in its largest market. A number of all-electric Audi models will be produced in China on the new PPE platform from 2024 onwards.
“This decision emphasizes the strategic importance of the Chinese market. We are thus actively pushing forward with innovations locally,” commented Markus Duesmann, Chairman of the Board of Management of AUDI AG and responsible for the China-business.
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- Read the September edition of Manufacturing Global here!
As a result of the signing of the MoU, Audi is affirming its commitment with its longstanding joint-venture partner FAW. At the same time, Audi is systematically following the path of sustainable mobility in China and is specifically gearing its locally produced drive portfolio towards the requirements of Chinese premium customers. While the plans for the new company are still being developed, production is expected to commence in 2024.
g, commented: “This is a further milestone in our electrification strategy for the Chinese market. We are also confirming our commitment both to our longstanding Chinese partner FAW and to our activities in China, which we are now taking to a new level.”
Audi’s electric initiative in China has already started, with Audi and FAW jointly producing the all-electric Q2L e-tron and the plug-in hybrid A6L TFSle. In addition, the previously imported Audi e-tron has been manufactured in Changchun since the end of September. Over the next few years, Audi will offer or localise further fully electric models of the e-tron family in China. By 2025, Audi aims to generate around one third of its unit sales in China with electrified cars.
Audi already currently produces at four locations in China as a result of the FAW-Volkswagen joint venture: in Changchun, Foshan, Tianjin and Qingdao at a total capacity of around 700,000 vehicles.
Fluent.ai x BSH: Voice Automating the Assembly Line
Fluent.ai has deployed its voice recognition solutions in one of BSH’s German factories. BSH leads the market in producing connected appliances—its brands include Bosch, Siemens, Gaggenau, NEFF, and Thermador, and with this new partnership, the company intends to cut transition time in its assembly lines.
According to BSH, voice automation will yield 75-100% efficiency gains—but it’s the collaboration between the two companies that stands out. ‘After considering 11 companies for this partnership, we chose Fluent.ai because of their key competitive differentiators’, explained Ion Hauer, Venture Partner at BSH Startup Kitchen.
What Sets Fluent.ai Apart?
After seven years of research, the company developed a wide range of artificial intelligence (AI) software products to help original equipment manufacturers (OEM) expand their services. Three key aspects stood out to BSH, which operates across the world and in unique factory environments.
- Robust noise controls. The system can operate even in loud conditions.
- Low latency. The AI understands commands quickly and accurately.
- Multilingual support. BSH can expand the automation to any of its 50+ country operations.
How Voice Automation Works
Instead of pressing buttons, BSH factory workers will now be able to speak into a headset fitted with Fluent.ai’s voice recognition technology. After uttering a WakeWord, workers can use a command to start assembly line movement. As the technology is hands-free, workers benefit from less physical strain, which will both reduce employee fatigue and boost line production.
‘Implementing Fluent’s technology has already improved efficiencies within our factory, with initial implementation of the solution cutting down the transition time from four seconds to one and a half”, said Markus Maier, Project Lead at the BSH factory. ‘In the long run, the production time savings will be invaluable’.
Future Global Adoption
In the coming years, BSH and Fluent.ai will continue to push for artificial intelligence on factory lines, pursuing efficiency, ergonomics, and a healthy work environment. ‘We started with Fluent.ai on one factory assembly line, moved to three, and [are now] considering rolling the technology out worldwide’, said Maier.
Said Probal Lala, Fluent.ai’s CEO: ‘We are thrilled to be working with BSH, a company at the forefront of innovation. Seeing your solution out in the real world is incredibly rewarding, and we look forward to continuing and growing our collaboration’.