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July 6, 2017

VW pioneers HTC-powered virtual reality for production and logistics

Following a test phase, the Volkswagen Group is claiming to be the first automaker to roll out virtual reality (VR) technology with the HTC Vive-VR system, enabling production and logistics staff to 'meet' in a VR 'room'.

Following a test phase, the Volkswagen Group is claiming to be the first automaker to roll out virtual reality (VR) technology with the HTC Vive-VR system, enabling production and logistics staff to ‘meet’ in a VR ‘room’.

VW’s digital reality hub, developed together with the Innoactive startup, bundles all existing VR applications, users and tools in the group on a single platform which made its public debut at the Digility conference and exhibition in Cologne.

“Virtual reality creates the ideal conditions for cross-brand and cross-site collaboration,” Audi brand logistics’ Jasmin Mueller said.

With colleagues from the group, she develops VR for production & logistics as part of the cross-brand digital realities team. They have already designed virtual reality logistics training, created virtual environments for workshops, and exchanged ‘best practice’ examples in VR.

Dennis Abmeier from group IT is also a member of the team. He said: “Exchanging knowledge is just as important as bundling knowledge. That’s why we came up with the hub central platform in collaboration with Innoactive. 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 work flows interactively.”

Mathias Synowski, a VR user from group logistics, describes 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.”

The team is developing further VR applications for production & logistics at group brands and they will be accessible via the digital reality hub common platform. The HTC VIVE Business Edition, a special VR headset developed specifically for businesses, is the ‘end user device’.

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