Volkswagen confirms better-than-expected third quarter profits
The Germany-based automotive manufacturer, Volkswagen, has announced stronger-than-anticipated net profits for the third quarter of 2018, CNBC reports.
It was revealed that the firm showed a total net profit of $3bn, which is a substantial increase from the same period last year when Volkswagen posted $1.2bn in net income.
However, Frank Vitter, Chief Financial Officer of Volkswagen, believes that as the market requires an increased level of innovation, challenges will only heighten.
Speaking to Squawk Box Europe, Mr Vitter said: “There is a very challenging transition ahead of the entire industry and us certainly as well, which means that even more ambitious CO2 fleet targets we have to meet, this is only to be achieved if you electrify your fleet to a certain extent.”
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It has been revealed that Volkswagen’s expenditure on research and development costs reached $11.25bn.
“We have for the longest time been rightly criticized for overspending,” Mr Vitter added. “We rightly prepare to market for an uplift this year in order to be ready for CO2 compliance by 2020 but also for the continued electrification and digitization of our offering, which is critical to meet those targets.”
In September, the company confirmed its plans to spend $6.8bn in electric car production and hopes to develop 10mn electric cars based on its new modular electrification kit platform as it looks to unveil mass production before the end of 2022.
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’.