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Tesla Is Using Augmented Reality Technology To Improve EV Production

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On: Sat, Mar 26, 2016 at 9:05AM | By: Carl Malek

Tesla Is Using Augmented Reality Technology To Improve EV Production

Tesla has always been a company known for being a leading figure in innovation, thanks in part to its Model S sedan, as well as its novel direct sales approach. However, according to a new report, Tesla has managed to become a triple threat of innovations when it comes to vehicle production, which could have implications for its upcoming volume entry, the Model 3 sedan.

According to the folks at Electrek, workers at the Tesla's facility in Fremont, California, are using Enterprise Edition variants of Google Glass to help improve the vehicle manufacturing process. While no solid proof has emerged that Tesla is using the technology nor has an official confirmation from the secretive EV company, the evidence that is already available points in that direction.

According to the report, APX Labs is a partner in the creation of Google Glass software; it also helps create other software products for non-Google-branded wearables. In addition, a video clip from last year shows the technology in use at Tesla's facility, but this was back when APX was developing the older Explorer Edition of Google Glass. This is backed up by separate photos released by the company that also showcase the technology in action at Fremont.

For those not familiar with this particular iteration of Google Glass, the Enterprise Edition adapts the wearable technology for use in industrial applications. The system is now fully waterproof, and has higher specifications according to separate Electrek reports. In the case of Tesla, workers can gain access to have-it at-a-glance streams of data while assembling vehicles or doing other jobs within the facility. In addition to the data applications, the Google Glass technology would allow workers to better communicate with supervisors and management in real time, which is crucial if an issue or a problem arises on the assembly floor. Instead of having to leave a station to go to another part of the plant, a worker would be able to send a message from his work station, which would allow him to resume production faster once the problem is resolved by personnel.

The broader use of augmented reality technology by other auto companies could further sow the seeds of an interesting future in auto manufacturing. For example, Microsoft and Volvo recently inked a partnership that is exploring similar technology, and it could inspire other companies such as Ford and GM to embark on similar endeavors. However, the technology is still very expensive, and, as such, would require many auto companies to figure out how to introduce the technology throughout their assembly networks, but without causing a long-term drain on financial resources in the process.


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