Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Volkswagen brings virtual reality to logistics

Steve Rogerson
July 6, 2017

German car maker Volkswagen has developed virtual reality applications for production and logistics that enable several participants to meet in a VR room.
Following a test phase, the Volkswagen Group is the first car manufacturer to roll out VR technology with the HTC Vive-VR system.
The Volkswagen Digital Reality Hub developed for this purpose with the Innoactive start-up bundles all existing VR applications, users and tools in the group on a single platform. This platform made its public debut at this week’s Digility conference and exhibition in Cologne.
“Virtual reality creates the ideal conditions for cross-brand and cross-site collaboration,” said Jasmin Müller from Audi Brand Logistics.
With colleagues from the group, she develops VR services for production and logistics as part of the cross-brand digital realities team. They have already designed virtual reality logistics trainings, created virtual environments for workshops and exchanged best practice examples in VR.
Dennis Abmeier from group IT is also a member of the team. As he explains: “Exchanging knowledge is just as important as bundling knowledge. That’s why we came up with the Volkswagen Digital Reality 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 workflows interactively.”
The testing and rollout of virtual reality applications is an example of cross-brand cooperation in the group. Under the umbrella of group logistics and the digital factory, the digital realities team is developing further virtual reality applications for production and logistics at the Audi, Seat, Škoda and Volkswagen brands. The applications will be accessible throughout the group via the Digital Reality Hub common platform.
As far as the technology is concerned, the VR end user device is the HTC Vive Business Edition, a VR headset developed specifically for businesses.
“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,” said Mathias Synowski, a VR user from group logistics. “That will make our daily teamwork much easier and save a great deal of time.”