GM has announced that its all-new electric vehicle assembly plant, dubbed Factory Zero, will leverage Verizon's 5G mm-wave technology. It is the first automotive plant in the US to install a dedicated 5G fixed-mobile base station. Verizon's tech is already used in the Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly Center as it prepares to begin producing electric vehicles by 2021. The Factory Zero has been completely revamped for electric vehicles at a massive cost of $2.2 billion which is also the largest amount for a GM facility.
"Factory Zero will be GM's flagship assembly plant in our journey to an all-electric future. 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," said Phil Kienle, GM's vice president of North America Manufacturing and Labor Relations.
"Factory Zero's new 5G connection will transmit critical application data securely and quickly for our manufacturing team," said Randy Mott, GM's executive vice president and chief information officer.
5G will have huge benefits in a manufacturing facility which will include reliability, speed and scale. It will enable thousands of devices to be connected with each other thanks to its huge bandwidth. 5G mm-wave or like Verizon likes to call it - Ultra Wide Band - is one of the tentpole features of the new iPhone 12 models in the US. However, this is a US-only feature as mm-wave 5G is available in a handful of markets. Mm-wave is faster than standard sub-6 5G however, it works poorly indoors and lacks pervasive coverage.
"GM is among the first companies to harness the power of Verizon 5G Ultra Wideband to provide unique connectivity to employees and support new research and applications that will transform their business and the automotive industry," Sampath Sowmyanarayan, president of Global Enterprise, Verizon Business, said.
At this factory, GM will be assembling new vehicles like the GMC Hummer EV, the Cruise Origin all of whom will be based on the new Ultium batteries.