Manufacturing

More details about the Audi E-Tron GT revealed, including where it will be made

Audi has released new images of the E-Tron GT Prototype.

Photo courtesy of Audi AG

Audi will be producing its electrically powered Gran Turismo at Audi Böllinger Höfe making it the brand's first fully electric car to be built in Germany. The company is currently in the process of expanding, upgrading, and converting its facility at the Neckarsulm site for its new role.

Skilled craftspeople have been retained and digital processes and smart technologies will combine with their skills on the assembly line. The company will utilize customized new technology to produce the car but finishing touches will be applied by hand.

Audi E-Tron GT Prototype

Photo courtesy of Audi AG

Due to COVID-19-related restrictions, the Audi manufacturing team will be training using virtual technology. In fact, most of the production process was planned suing virtual reality without physical prototypes - a first for Audi.

The automaker has established a body shop on site that is capable of constructing the body of the Gran Turismo from ultra-high-strength steel and aluminum. The shop consists of a body assembly line along which each body passes twice. It is constructed around what is called the two-way framer, in which ten robots are used to attach the inner and outer side panels. It combines all manufacturing steps involved in joining the sides in a single system.

The expanded assembly line includes 36 instead of the previous 16 cycles. The E-Tron GT will share the space with the Audi R8 despite them both being technologically very different. They will both be moved using the same 20 driverless transport vehicles and electrically powered monorail system. Humans and robots will work side by side. The body shop for the e-tron GT is around 85 percent automated; ten stations with a total of 34 robots.

Once each car is completed, it will be driven for 24.9 miles on public roads for quality assurance testing before leaving the factory and heading out to a dealership near you.

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Electric sports car

Porsche Taycan has outsold the 911 in 2021

The Taycan has outsold a few Porsche models so far this year.

Porsche

The Porsche Taycan is an impressive EV with speed and build quality to shame almost anything else on the road. As we learned from Porsche today, those attributes resonated with buyers, as the Taycan outsold the Porsche 911 during the first nine months of 2021.

Porsche Taycan The Taycan's steep starting price doesn't seem like much of a sticking point for buyers.Porsche

Yes, the electric car that starts at almost $83,000 outsold the most iconic sports car of all time. However, Porsche's had a good year, and it's not all thanks to the Taycan. In today's SUV-crazed world, it's not surprising to see that the Cayenne is still Porsche's most popular model. The automaker sold 62,451 of its flagship SUV in the first nine months of the year. The Macan sold a respectable 61,944.

Now, consider that the Taycan – a brand new, expensive, all-electric car – sold almost half as many units as those two iconic SUVs. Further cementing its place in the Porsche lineup, the car outsold the 911 by almost 700 units and decimated sales of the 718 Boxster and 718 Cayman, which combined sold 15,916 units. The Panamera, which offers a similar body style to the Taycan, sold 20,275.

Porsche SUVs The Cayenne and Macan both sold very well.Porsche

Porsche has had a good year in all markets it serves, but the U.S. market showed the strongest sales growth, climbing to 51,615 vehicles sold in the first nine months of the year. That's a 30 percent jump from 2020, and the rest of North America was just as strong with a combined 29 percent increase in growth. China did the most to propel Porsche's sales skyward, with almost 70,000 cars sold there.

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Frightening security

Boston Dynamics' robot to patrol Kia factory

The robot is being tested as a security patrol unit.

Hyundai

Breaking into an auto manufacturing facility was already a very bad idea, but new security tech being tested by Hyundai Motor Group makes it downright terrifying as well. In addition to cameras, sensors, and armed security guards, would-be burglars at a Kia plant in South Korea now have to face off with a semi-autonomous robot dog.

The Boston Dynamics quadruped robot, named Spot, is being tested as a safer and more effective way of providing security patrols to the plant. The dog is one of several robots designed and tested by the firm, which has long terrified the internet with its physically capable electronic beings.

Boston Dynamics Spot Robot The robot uses various sensors to detect danger and intruders.Hyundai

If you haven't seen it, the Boston Dynamics robot dog is frightening enough on its own, so it's an excellent choice to provide factory security. The robot uses an integrated thermal camera and 3D LiDAR to detect people around it, and can monitor high-temperature situations and fire hazards. It can be controlled remotely through a secure webpage, which allows personnel to see what's going on in the factory without putting themselves in danger.

The robot is capable of navigating tight spaces and can identify issues not visible to the human eye. It's also able to semi-autonomously navigate its environment, and has been developed with task management and deep learning-based vision technology. Boston Dynamics says that its tech can be expanded to other types of robot platforms.



The robot dog is currently in the pilot stage at Kia's plant in South Korea. It will be used to support late-night security patrols and increase safety for workers. Hyundai Motor Group will assess the robot's effectiveness and suitability for the job before expanding its use in other industrial sites.

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