Export drives British car makers forward with the best performance since 2005
This year, car production volumes are at their highest since 2005, with 36,000 more cars built than in 2014. Driving this forward is export with one million British-built cars shipped overseas in 2015.
October has seen a marginal dip in domestic sales as car makers gear up for the new models launching at the end of the year. Exports, however, are up by 1.5% for the month.
According to the latest figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), a total of 1,318,452 new cars rolled off UK production lines in the first 10 months of the year, the best performance in the last 10 years and up 2.8% year-to-date.
UK engine manufacturing also remains stable. Despite a 1.3% drop in 2015, the demand for the new Euro-6 engines has driven exports forward with manufacturing for overseas markets up 13.2% month-on-month.
Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said, “Continued overseas demand for UK-built engines drove sector growth of 4% in October, compared with the same month last year. Some 135,434 engines were produced for foreign markets, representing an uplift of 13.2%. Year-to-date volumes fell slightly by 1.3% set against a 1.3% increase in exports, while overall output surpassed the two million unit milestone, reflecting the stability of the market.”
It seems the success is going to continue for UK car makers with SMMT predicting that two million cars will be produced in 2020, beating the former high of the 1970s. Not only is this great news for the economy but it’s predicted that it’ll also bring in around 37,500 new jobs.
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’.