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The factory of the future full of autonomous robots is being built – BMW, NVIDIA share their progress

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A backdrop of the biggest fall in car sales in decades might seem like an odd time to make significant new financial commitments, but for companies like BMW, with strong balance sheets and €14 billion in cash, COVID-19 isn’t an excuse to let strategic initiatives slide. Last week at NVIDIA’s first-ever virtual GTC event., the iconic automaker announced plans for an innovative update to its manufacturing operations using NVIDIA’s Isaac robotics platform. As part of the company’s Industry 4.0 strategy, BMW is developing AI-enhanced robots for material handling and transport to significantly reduce the time needed to build multiple models of custom-configured cars on the same production line. According to Jürgen Maidl, BMW’s SVP of Logistics, the new system is the future of factory automation: BMW is committed to the Power of Choice for our customers — customization of diverse features across diverse vehicles for diverse customers. Manufacturing high-quality, highly customized cars, on multiple models, with higher volume, on one factory line requires advanced computing solutions from end-to-end. While specialized robots have long been used on automobile assembly lines, exponential increases in GPU performance with designs optimized for AI workloads enable …

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