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Volkswagen has created its own 5G network for its Wolfsburg plant.

The network will be used to safeguard the secure, delay-free transmission of data. The company’s Dresden factory is also testing using 5G to control driverless transportation systems using 5G.

“In implementing our ACCELERATE strategy we are working at full speed to transform our Volkswagen sites into smart factories,” says Christian Vollmer a Member of the Volkswagen Board responsible for production and logistics.

“Our goal is to continuously optimize our production and make it even more efficient and flexible,” he continues. “We believe that 5G technology has great potential for innovation, from the use of intelligent robots and driverless transportation systems to networked control of plant and machinery in real-time up to wireless software flashing of manufactured vehicles.”

With around 5,000 robots working at the Wolfsburg plant, Volkswagen needs delay-free transmission to control and monitor them. It’s hoped that this new 5G network will make many smart factory applications possible for the first time.

One scenario to be tested in the pilot phase under real-life laboratory conditions in Wolfsburg is the wireless upload of data to manufactured vehicles. With increasing levels of digitization and fully connected vehicles, the production process requires large amounts of data to be transmitted to the cars. 5G makes it possible to perform this much more quickly and at any time during production.

“Efficient wireless communication in real-time will be crucial for flexible production in the future. 5G has the potential to be one such driver of the Industrial Internet of Things. Our aim is, therefore, to build up extensive experience in the operation and industrial use of 5G technology,” says Beate Hofer, CIO of the Volkswagen Group.

Volkswagen is setting up and operating the local 5G infrastructure itself. For the campus network in Wolfsburg, the company has been allocated 3.7 to 3.8 GHz with 100 MHz bandwidth. 

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