Audi uses driverless transport to enhance production

Written by Thembani Magazi – August 04, 2021

Reviewed by Asaf Kedem

Audi Hungaria, Audi’s engine manufacturing plant, has introduced six new driverless transport vehicles (FTFs) on its site to enhance the engine production process. This is a collaboration with the company Jungheinrich and the new FTFs are being used to transport 2.0-litre four-cylinder Otto engine parts from the logistics area straight to the production line.

The FTFs automatically stop at 57 stations during their journey of around 1 kilometer, allowing for a remarkably efficient and reliable material transport. The vehicles come equipped with state-of-the-art navigation technology and safety features. 50 out of the 57 stop stations located around different areas around the production hall are located just next to the production line. In every 1000 meter journey, the driverless vehicles can carry parts weighing up to 5000 kilograms.

On their way back from the production line, they transport packaging materials back to the logistics area. These vehicles are guided to and from the production line with the help of laser navigation enabled by reflective surfaces installed on objects along the FTF’s route, such as shelves, walls and columns. This laser navigation allows for positioning of driverless systems at predefined stations with millimetre-level accuracy.

Auto Trendy’s take

The goal of this initiative is to increase efficiency and boost competitiveness. The FTFs will undoubtedly add a lot of value to the engine production process at a time when these types of innovation are needed most. As you probably already know there is a global chip shortage affecting all the world’s large automakers. To offset the effects of this shortage, companies now need to rethink their supply chains in a way that increases efficiency and prevents catastrophic shut down, which is exactly what Audi has done by partnering with Jungheinrich on these advanced driverless vehicles. Other brands like General Motors have not been so fortunate or innovative. Audi needs to keep this up if it wants to remain one of the best automotive marques in the world.