The Audi Smart Factory of the Future Looks Frightening

Audi is developing a “Smart Factory” where robots will work together with humans to build cars.

The German automaker first talked about its Smart Factory last year, envisioning a plant with human-robot collaboration, 3D printed parts, drone material transport and piloted cars that drive themselves off the production lines. A new video has been released that gives us a glimpse into that factory, proving that it’s not as far-fetched as you might think. In fact, Audi appears to be making great progress with drones transporting steering wheels, although it may not seem very effective in the video.

The company also previews other high-tech features like using virtual reality headsets and metal 3D printing to enhance the production process at its factories. Audi says it is looking at a method of production where cars are no longer built on an assembly line, but with a radically new, disruptive concept called modular assembly instead.