Virtual Reality is becoming more and more common in the automotive industry, with multiple uses for it. Some car companies now use VR to show customers what a car might look like in the flesh if they can’t actually be next to one. Sometimes it’s used to show customers what certain custom options might look like. Other times, VR is used to help employees train; whether it be for assembly or maintenance; and that’s the case with the Audi e-tron GT.
We just recently learned that production for the Audi e-tron GT will begin in the Fall of 2020 at the same facility where the Audi R8 is built. In fact, Audi is currently modifying that Böllinger Höfe plant as we speak. However, employees need to be trained on assembly far before the actual production launch of the car. To do so, Audi is training it employees with VR. In fact, this is the first time that the “3P workshops” (Preparation, Production, Process) of an assembly is being testing entirely in Virtual Reality.
“The e-tron GT is the first vehicle in the VW Group to dispense with an actual prototype in the 3P workshops,” explains Markus Moinot, Head of Production Planning Processes in Neckarsulm.
It’s quite amazing what can be done in VR. In fact, during our trip to San Francisco to drive the Audi e-tron, we were given a demonstration entirely in Virtual Reality. Each of us journalists were given a set of VR goggles and we were able to see the virtual e-tron right in front of us and interact with it. For looking at the technical specs and underneath the skin of a car, VR can be incredibly useful.
Not only is it useful to actually use but it helps coordinate and collaborate between different plants. “Digitization of the workshops was a logical, consistent step toward further developing the existing 3P method. With the virtual workshops we also facilitate good, highly effective collaboration of participants from various sites. At present, we are testing this between Ingolstadt and San José Chiapa in Mexico.” said Bernd Widdmann, Head of Assembly Planning Methods in Ingolstadt.
It’s only fitting that the Audi e-tron GT is getting the most high-tech of treatments in its development. The e-tron GT represents the next level in the brand’s technology, performance and design. So using next-level tech to develop it only makes sense.