A Swedish student-run startup named Uniti showcased a lightweight, composite-based electric car featuring a fully electronic steering system. The car boasted a full-screen augmented reality heads up display. The product attracted the German electronic manufacturing giant Siemens, who partnered with Uniti to work on the futuristic car concept. Uniti had raised over a million dollars in their crowd funding campaign for their futuristic concept car.
Uniti and Siemens’ partnership is now prepared to build world’s first fully automated car production facility, named the Industry 4.0. The factory will aim at manufacturing sustainable materials for lightweight electric vehicles and include a facility for automated assembly of 50,00 cars a year. The fully functional prototype of the car will be unveiled by fall this year, but the automated production line will take another 18 months to set up and be able to deliver the first vehicle only in 2019.
The Industry 4.0 will incorporate a manufacturing process based on Siemens’ PLM software suite. The software allows virtual simulation of the manufacturing process before it is taken to physical production. CEO of Siemens PLM software in the Nordics, Mats Friberg claims that they have perfected the production lifecycle management to such an extent that the first vehicle manufactured will be ready to be sold without a need of testing.
The Uniti EV will be based on a 5 kW motor powered by an 11 kWh battery. The parts of the electric automotive will be manufactured mainly from biomaterials. Uniti Sweden CEO, Lewis Horne sounded very optimistic about the partnership and said, “The opportunity to not only develop a sustainable car but also to manufacture it in a sustainable way at a larger scale.”
Sustainable and green automotive are a need of the future, especially with the growing threat of global warming. The partnership between Uniti and Siemens is a sign that the world is serious about solving the crisis. If everything works out as planned, we will soon see sustainable automated vehicles all around us.