Open Innovation Challenge by Group Production and Porsche Production
Advanced technologies have entered every phase of production for automotive manufacturers, including raw material delivery, automated assembly, and work-in-process movements between manufacturing cells. Currently, manufacturers have extended their focus of autonomous vehicle transport into the post assembly phase in their production line where assembled cars are transported to different testing and finishing sites within the factory. Although there are existing products that can autonomously transport assembled vehicles, they were not suitable for Porsche’s production line due to certain restrictions on vehicles as well as the infrastructure conditions.
Therefore Porsche, as the initiator of this Challenge, was looking for innovative ideas and concepts for a system to autonomously transport assembled vehicles, including sports cars with low ground clearance, between operating sites within a factory. The ideal solution could autonomously pick-up, move and put-down assembled cars in different areas, navigate in human workplaces, and integrate with automatic testing stations without manual interaction. Solutions furthermore had to take the operating environment factors into consideration such as surfaces, ramps, path width/curve radii, outdoor usage, etc.