May 10th, 2019
Today is the day blog! It’s my company site visit, we are going to Audi. Not going to lie, the day did not start the way I hoped it would have. While changing I come to find my suit does not fit anymore. The pants are too git and the jacket just a little too tight. Not sure how that happened. But we are still pushing through. After breakfast we get on the bus and head for Ingolstadt. While everyone else slept I stayed up and thought of more questions to ask the people at Audi. I was mostly interested in their ideas about the future for autonomy and electric vehicles. Soon enough we are in Ingolstadt driving up to the front of the Audi headquarters. I am beyond excited.
Before the tour of the plant started we had a few minutes to look around and even sit inside some Audi cars they had on display. This was my first time seeing the Audi E-Tron in person. I was thrown for a loop by the digital mirrors but everything else was sleek and beautiful. Soon after it was time to start the tour. We headed on a bus to the Body Shop, where the bodies of the vehicles were being welted together. This portion was almost fully automated. The machines could work much faster than a human could. Next, we went onto the portion where the inside of the vehicles were being assembled. The doors were taken off and transported downstairs where they were to be assembled. Jess even mentioned how looking up reminded her of a scene from Monster’s Inc. The first thing I noticed was how the assembly was being worked from front to back. The entire dashboard was installed before the back was even touched.
Moving along to the final section of the plant, where the chassis are put on. It was mind-blowing to look up and see the entire ceiling covered in cars being transported throughout the plant. We walked some more through where cars are driven to then be tested, and then we were finished with the tour. It was time to see the Audi museum and eat some food. I had a bowl of pasta, a bread roll, and a bottle of water, but we were ready to see the Audi Museum. The museum was set up by decades. Starting from the top each floor had their own decade of cars and bikes that were shown. I have an appreciation for the classic cars, but my heart belongs to the super cars of today. Soon after it was time for the presentation.
Easily the most nerve-wracking part of the entire trip so far, but I had come prepared with questions to ask. They discussed everything that I was excited for, electric cars, urbanization, and ride sharing. Patrick, the speaker, discussed how specifically Audi was entering each product market. He talked about the plans to become 1/3 by 2025, level 4 autonomy in the next few decades, and their entrance into ride sharing. Audi had a good and reasonable grasp on the future and it was amazing to see just how far in advance they are thinking and planning.
After Audi we were officially off program so dinner was on our own. We went to this Arakdas for döner, a traditional Turkish meal. We had the döner sandwich without tomatoes, I learned the hard way that ordering with cheese makes it much better. The man working there, Mimo, was so kind and accommodating to the big group that we had. Arakdas is a somewhat small restaurant so filling it with 20 people is kind of hard. Stuffed from döner sand which it was time to head home and go to bed.
This was a good day blog, glad I could share it with you.