General Motors has announced that its all-electric vehicle assembly plant, Factory ZERO, is the first automotive plant in the United States to install dedicated 5G fixed-mobile network technology. Verizon’s 5G Ultra Wideband service is now operating at the facility as it prepares to begin producing EVs in 2021.
The company said that Factory ZERO is completely retooled with an investment of $2.2 billion, the largest ever for a GM manufacturing facility. Once fully operational, the plant will create more than 2,200 US manufacturing jobs.
“Installing 5G is an essential step in the transformation of this plant, and signals how important advanced manufacturing is in the ongoing race to an EV future,” says Phil Kienle, vice president of North America Manufacturing and Labor Relations at GM. “Factory ZERO’s new 5G connection will transmit critical application data securely and quickly for our manufacturing team,” adds Randy Mott, executive vice president and chief information officer at GM.
Some key benefits of 5G in a plant include reliability, speed and sheer scale. 5G’s massive bandwidth offers the possibility to manage thousands of devices across Factory ZERO with ample capacity to support emerging technologies. The indoor network will not only be used in the manufacturing equipment itself but will also be used to support the wider use of devices like the new iPhones 12, used to run apps supporting quality, safety and efficiency in the manufacturing environment.
Both the upcoming GMC Hummer EV and the Cruise Origin will be built at Factory ZERO on GM’s Ultium battery platform.