BMW is already manufacturing its next-generation all-electric Neue Klasse (new class) vehicles two years ahead of the launch of series production – virtually at least. Using NVIDIA’s advanced virtual computing platform, BMW revealed this week it has opened the world’s first entirely virtual factor in the NVIDIA Omniverse to produce its Neue Klasse EVs.
BMW uses NVIDIA Omniverse to begin next-gen EV rollout
The NVIDIA omniverse platform is essentially the closest thing to the real world, using artificial intelligence to allow you to create and operate applications in the metaverse (virtually).
NVIDIA’s game-changing technology allows you to create physically accurate, large-scale demonstrations bringing concepts to life in a new way, or a digital twin as it’s often called.
BMW announced at GTC it’s expanding the use of the NVIDIA Omniverse to revamp its production network, including its planned EV plant in Debrecen, Hungary.
Although construction has just begun, and the new facility isn’t expected to produce vehicles until 2025, BMW is already manufacturing cars at the plant in the metaverse. The ability to see virtually in real-time how the facility will operate will ensure a smooth and efficient opening process.
Milan Nedeljković, head of production at BMW, explains:
With Nvidia and AI we set up new factories faster and produce more efficiently than ever. This results in significant savings for us.
Nedeljković says that it all starts with planning, adding that virtualization and AI are accelerating and refining how BMW plans. The platform allows BMW’s teams from around the world to work together in real-time, resulting in faster decision-making and efficiency.
BMW and NVIDIA held a factory demo to showcase the power and efficiency of planning AI-based EV facilities using the Omniverse platform. Check it out below.
In the joint demo, BMW’s global planning team joins Nedeljković and NVIDIA CEO and founder Jensen Huang on a virtual planning session for the factory’s new body shop.
After learning a new production concept that needed changes (a robot placement), the team collaborates on a solution, visualizing the process in real time as they go.
When the team found the perfect spot for the robot, it could run a simulation, showing the component is in its place and operational.
The automaker’s virtual planning adds to its “masterplan for the automotive production of tomorrow,” dubbed the BMW iFACTORY. BMW introduced the production concept last year to focus on digitalization alongside green and resource-saving methods.
BMW’s Hungary plant is expected to open in 2025, where it will produce the company’s first next-gen Neue Klasse EVs as the automaker kicks off a new era.