FutureCityFactory: mastering urban challenges together

Three megacities existed worldwide in 1950; there will be more than 480 by the year 2030. What does this mean for industrial production? How will the infrastructure of distribution and services change? This and other questions are examined by FutureCityFactory, an initiative of Audi’s Production division and the Network of Automotive Excellence, an intercompany network of experts of the automotive industry. Under the motto of “mastering urban challenges together,” the two partners have brought cities, scientists and business people around one table for the first time. “For Audi’s production, it is important to shape the industrial manufacturing of tomorrow effectively and sustainably. With FutureCityFactory therefore, we want to initiate cooperation on research and support. We aim to push forward with interdisciplinary pilot projects together with our partners,” explained Arne Lakeit, Head of Production and Plant Planning at AUDI AG.

The starting signal was given in Ingolstadt today: 140 participants from business and science backgrounds discussed opportunities for industrial manufacturing in an urban context with urban and transport planners at the kickoff conference of FutureCityFactory. These discussions were based on four impulse lectures on the specific challenges faced by industry in the future. Subsequently, the participants exchanged opinions and experience on the subjects of employees, mobility, the Internet, planning for the future and energy. The most important areas for action will then be transferred into concrete ideas. Audi’s production planners for example will focus on the self-organization of production equipment by means of swarm intelligence, and on individualized assembly processes using generative manufacturing methods. This will allow components to be manufactured directly from the relevant design data, thus saving time and reducing waste material.

After the kickoff conference, in cross-industry working meetings of the FutureCityFactory, viable solutions will be given concrete form and technological pilot projects will be initiated. In this context, knowledge gained by the Audi Urban Future Initiative will also be utilized. Since 2010, the Audi Urban Future Initiative has been investigating the mobility of tomorrow, in order to develop new perspectives on the sustainable city of the future.