Tesla expands operations in Hong Kong and plans to open manufacturing plant by 2018
According to reports, Tesla is planning to expand its operations in Hong Kong to tap into the lucrative electric car market in China. The electric car behemoth is also keen to be the first company to establish a sustainable network in the city due to the fact that China offers substantial growth opportunities. Tesla expects its operations in Hong Kong to lead the way for electric vehicle success in Asia.
Tesla currently has 50 employees in China, but plans to double its resources by the end of the year. It has also hired a country director for China.
China shows huge potential
Tesla, alongside other major manufacturers, has recognised China as market with huge potential for the adoption of electric vehicles. The Chinese government has spoken out to fully support the production of sustainable transport, and manufacturing giant Foxconn has recently jumped on the bandwagon with plans to develop an affordable electric car.
Hong Kong is particularly attractive to manufacturers due to the fact it is a small territory spanning just 10 miles. Customers in Hong Kong would be expected to charge their vehicles only once a week, which is an added advantage and could encourage mass uptake.
Tesla started operating in China this year and is undertaking different measures to expand its dealerships and charging stations in the country. It also expects that China sales will be on par with that of the U.S. by 2015.
Tesla also intends to establish 10 to 12 new stores, service centers and a Supercharger network in China by the end of 2014 and expects China to account for 30 to 35 percent of its global sales growth. Additionally, Tesla aims to start vehicle manufacturing in China by 2018.
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’.