May 16, 2020

Lotus cars are set to be manufactured outside the UK

Automotive
UK
China
China
Catherine Sturman
2 min
Lotus

For the first time in Lotus’ history, the iconic British sports car is set to be manufactured in China. The move will enable the company to boost its...

For the first time in Lotus’ history, the iconic British sports car is set to be manufactured in China. The move will enable the company to boost its presence worldwide as part of its ongoing expansion strategy, which will see the business amplify production and look at developing new models to cater towards burgeoning markets.

Set to be manufactured in a new $1.3bn factory in Whan City, situated in Hubei province, it also forms part of Zheijiang Geely Holding Group’s efforts to make a significant impact on the business since it purchased a majority stake in 2017, alongside a 49% in Malaysian car manufacturer, Proton.

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Set to build up to 150,000 vehicles per year, according to recent government documents, it has been revealed that the company will look to move into developing SUVs, catering towards increased demands, particularly across the Chinese market. The share of luxury SUVs in China's overall passenger car market grew from 4.07% in 2014 to 5.01% in 2018, Business Insider has reported.

The new manufacturing facility will also look to build electric cars and hybrid vehicles, where 20 vacancies have been advertised. Long-term, the business will look towards competition with premium cars brands, such as Ferrari and Porsche.

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Jun 16, 2021

Fluent.ai x BSH: Voice Automating the Assembly Line

Fluentai
BSH
AI
Technology
2 min
Fluent.ai and BSH announce plans to bring speech-to-intent AI to the assembly line that will increase factory efficiency and improve worker ergonomics

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’. 

 

 

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