Volkswagen Group unveils logistics virtual reality

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Manufacturer pushes IT innovation into car-making development


Volkswagen Group has created a virtual reality (VR) platform for its production and logistics functions, claiming to be the first car maker to do so.

With a test phase complete, VW is using HTC’s VIVE-VR Business Edition head-set hardware and imaging system and German firm Innoactive’s software to make the virtual reality innovation an actual reality.

Enabling several participants to meet in a VR room at once, the Volkswagen Digital Reality Hub appears a significant step beyond video conferencing that allows viewing of the potential movements of people and things.

"Virtual reality creates the ideal conditions for cross-brand and cross-site collaboration," Jasmin Müller, from Audi Brand Logistics part of the cross-brand Digital Realities Team, says.

Dennis Abmeier from Group IT is also a member of the Digital Realities Team notes that "exchanging knowledge is just as important as bundling knowledge", which is why the hub was formed.

"All employees have access to all existing VR elements as well as existing knowledge via the platform.

"That way, we enable individual units to implement new use cases quickly and jointly move in VR applications so they can plan new workflows interactively."

Mathias Synowski, a VR user from Group Logistics, says of the added value of virtual reality solutions: "Going forward, we can be virtual participants in workshops taking place at other sites or we can access virtual support from experts at another brand if we are working on an optimisation. That will make our daily teamwork much easier and save a great deal of time."

VW says that, under the umbrella of Group Logistics and the "Digital Factory", the Digital Realities Team is developing further virtual reality applications for production and logistics at the Audi, SEAT, Škoda and Volkswagen brands.

The whole suite is currently on public display at the Digility conference and exhibition in Germany’s Cologne.

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