Swedish multinational networking and telecommunications company, Ericsson has sealed a partnership deal with industry 4.0 partner, Unikie to collaborate on the trial automated factory parking with Ericsson’s 5G standalone (SA) private network.
The partnership is hinged on the fact that more than 500 global auto factories and 90 million cars are produced in 2019 alone, even as efficiently managing vehicle logistics onsite remains a crucial need. With 5G and automated parking, automakers can save time and reduce costs.
“5G private networks enable automotive manufacturers to increase productivity, reduce costs, and improve worker safety. Combined with Unikie’s automated factory parking solution, vehicle logistics are transformed. It is exciting to be a part of this project,” said Jan Diekmann, Technical Account Manager, Ericsson.
Unikie develops software for real-time autonomous operation and process management in automotive and industrial solutions, including automated factory parking and valet parking.
“Together with Ericsson, we can support the reliability and performance requirements critical for large automotive manufacturers and other industries with vast logistics areas. Controlled autonomous vehicles onsite are efficient and safe not only for the entire automotive production ecosystem but for all logistic ecosystems,” said Vesa Kiviranta, Chief Business Officer, Automotive.
At the test facility in Turku, Finland, vehicles are remotely controlled through a secure and reliable Ericsson 5G private network, utilizing edge computing and Unikie’s Automated Factory Parking (AFP) solution.
As a result, vehicle logistic management at the factory can be fully automated due to reliable connectivity, low latency to meet safety requirements, and the high-security standards of the 5G private network.
As cars roll off the production line, drivers move cars to a parking area before being shipped, which takes approximately 30 minutes. With Unikie’s AFP solution of sensors and software, automakers can control and monitor the car factory route and automate parking.
Automakers benefit from identifying the exact location of parked vehicles which reduces search time and labor costs. With precision parking, the parking space is optimized by up to 20 percent. An additional benefit is increased safety for onsite staff and minimum vehicle parking accidents. Other possible use cases for the technology include airport parking, shopping malls and logistic hubs.