GM Just Pulled a First in the Automotive Manufacturing World

In 1913, Henry Ford created the first assembly line for mass-producing the automobile. Since that time, the automotive manufacturing industry has evolved dramatically. Thanks to ever-changing technology, automotive manufacturing plants are now equipped with a wide range of machines and other high-tech equipment to make the production process faster and more efficient. General Motors recently announced it would add a new technological advancement to one of its plants to improve the production line.

Here’s a look at how GM is teaming up with Verizon to revolutionize automotive manufacturing.

GM upgraded one of its manufacturing plants

Earlier this year, GM announced it would upgrade its Detroit-Hamtramck manufacturing plant in order to make the assembly center more efficient. According to Total Telecom,  GM spent over $2 billion to purchase new controls, conveyors, and machines. It also renamed the facility to Factory ZERO  because the plant was now going to focus “on a future that has zero-crashes, zero-emissions, and zero-congestion as a result of a technological innovation.”

In addition to the upgraded machinery, Factory ZERO will also now be equipped with Verizon’s 5G Ultra Wideband Internet, which will be incorporated into a wide range of equipment and will help to improve overall productivity in the plant.

Its state-of-the-art plant pushes General Motors ahead of the competition

As GM Authority previously reported, robotic machines, various sensors, and Automated Guided Vehicles (AGV) at Factory Zero will be equipped with Verizon’s 5G network to help the machines run faster and more efficiently. Employees at the plant will also have devices equipped with 5G Ultra Wideband that will allow faster communication on the production floor. 

GM’s executive vice president and chief information office, Randy Mott, believes that incorporating the faster network into the newly redesigned manufacturing plant is necessary in moving the company into the future. “Factory Zero’s new 5G connection will transmit critical application data securely and quickly for our manufacturing team,” Mott said. “This is another example of cutting-edge use of technology improving quality and speed as GM accelerates its rollout of EVs.”

GM has yet to disclose whether it plans to add 5G access to its other manufacturing plants. However, it’s the first automaker taking advantage of Verizon’s ultra-fast network.

The automaker plans to add 5G to more than its plant

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GM recently announced that in addition to its manufacturing plant, new vehicles that are manufactured for the Chinese market will also have 5G connectivity options. According to CNBC, beginning in 2022, all-new Cadillac models and most new Chevy and Buick models produced in China will come with high-speed 5G. So far, GM has not announced when it plans to implement the new 5G connectivity in the United States, but many speculate the new technology will come to the U.S. market shortly after debuting in China.

Vehicles equipped with the 5G connectivity will be better able to handle some of the more high-tech features, including autonomous driving and other advanced driver-assist features. GM also hopes that by providing 5G, these vehicles will receive updates quicker and allow faster communications between other connected vehicles.

As technology evolves, it makes sense that the automotive industry changes as well. By adding 5G Ultra Wideband to its manufacturing plant and products, GM ensures its vehicles move into the future.