How Audi is using drones to make vehicle dispatch process easier and efficient
Audi has developed a drone system that helps locate manufactured vehicles that are ready for dispatch at its Neckarsulm site in Germany. The drone autonomously flies over vehicles that are out of assembly lines and saves their exact parking positions, making it easier and more efficient for employees to locate the cars when they are to be dispatched to the customers.
The drone system uses GPS and radio frequency identification (RFID) technology to identify and save the vehicle position. Each Audi receives a vehicle identification number in the body shop which is identified by the drone using RFID reader. Once the flying device lands after completing its flight, the data is transmitted to a database via Wi-Fi automatically and the result is then displayed on a digital map for the employees.
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Audi's Neckarsulm site is one of the most complex in the Volkswagen Group because various car models including the A4, the A5 Cabriolet, the A6 and the A7 roll off the lines every day. Ensuring that each Audi finds its way to its new owner from here requires exact planning from production to dispatch. This makes precise order planning particularly challenging. Thus, the drone has made the process faster and easier.
Audi says that the fast locating of vehicles using the drone creates even higher process quality and is a further stepping stone on the path to digital production. "The drone provides support from a completely new perspective. We will now share our experiences with other Audi sites and within the VW Group," says Steffen Conrad, project manager in the area of Innovation Management at the Audi site in Neckarsulm.