“Ultimately, the applications that we envision are that the AI will help the worker. It’s all about productivity and training,” said Patel.
This tech-heavy set-up is unlikely to be rolled out at more traditional factories, said Patel, such as the massive Ulsan plant in Korea, where 34,000 workers produce 5600 vehicles daily. However, he added that anything that improves efficiency would be considered.
Cars with jobs
Hyundai wants to use the Smart factories as hubs for a shared mobility model, with vehicles that use one platform but swap out interiors for easier production.
These could be self-driving vehicles built for specific tasks, including hosting on-the-go meetings or transporting workers to the factory.
“These are vehicles that are personalised to a moment, rather than a person,” said Patel.
“Modes of transport can be used in different contexts. That is where we are looking to create purpose-built vehicles that could have a standardised chassis and propulsion, with the insides personalised for various needs.”
He added that “there is no limit” to which type of vehicle can be made in these factories. With that in mind, the brand also confirmed that, from 2028, these production lines will be able to build its Urban Air Mobility vehicles – another benefit of the cell-based production method.