Ford Motor Company and AT&T are enhancing the Ford Rouge Electric Vehicle Center, an EV assembly plant in Dearborn, Michigan. Located inside the Ford River Rouge complex, the EV center will feature the next generation 5G cellular connectivity.
Ford’s 5G network based on AT&T 5G with AT&T’s Multi-Access Edge Computing (MEC) technology will help produce the 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning. This model will be the first all-electric version of the carmaker’s best-selling F-Series truck.
“With this collaboration, we’ll help Ford unlock the potential of 5G helping to build the truck of the future,” said Rasesh Patel, Chief Product & Platform Officer, AT&T Business. “It’s 5G connectivity coming to life! And it’s all thanks to the transformative ultra-fast speeds, incredibly low latency, and massive connectivity that is 5G in action.”
Undoubtedly, Adrian Price, Executive Director, Global Manufacturing Engineering at Ford Motor Company, said the Rouge Electric Vehicle Center will feature the latest in advanced manufacturing technology. “We are deploying 5G technology at this facility to enable us to use significant additional advanced manufacturing technologies in the future.”
The all-electric F-150 Lightning has an EPA-estimated range of 300 miles, zero emissions, and the Ford Intelligent Backup Power. 5G connectivity can help support the electric vehicle landscape by enabling future capabilities at the Rouge Electric Vehicle Center.
For this reason, the EV manufacturing facility will have the ability to support new technology. Employees use tablet computers to send and receive information about equipment status and material supply. Phones can scan specific components of the vehicle for accuracy. Both the phones and tablets will have 5G capability for faster processing times and better connection.
In addition, the center will be able to improve automated industrial vehicles and machinery. The lower latency of 5G can help automated robotics and machinery make better decisions and faster reaction times. Certainly, this will help improve safety of workers around these robots and machines.
Furthermore, the center will also enable faster wireless vehicle updates. Previously, vehicle software updates had to be made using mobile computing hardware. Now, Ford makes these updates wirelessly. Because the 5G technology at the Rouge Electric Vehicle Center will provide better connection, customers can save processing time.
Ford recently announced that it is investing an additional US$250 million and adding 450 more jobs to boost production of the F-150 Lightning. Ford’s Rouge Electric Vehicle Center is in the historic Rouge complex, which sets the benchmark for sustainable automotive assembly.
This is because the new center supports Ford’s vision of sustainable production as a zero waste-to-landfill site.
Also, the Rouge Electric Vehicle Center uses natural lighting, as well as LED lighting and the primary forklift fleet uses hydrogen fuel cells with a zero-emission profile. Because the EV center rose on the old site of Dearborn Assembly Plant, it recycled foundation and construction materials.