CES 2022: Hyundai entering the matrix with its first meta auto factory

Hyundai to build a digital-twin factory in the metaverse to optimize plant operations, allow virtual problem solving, and pioneer the use of robotics in both real and virtual worlds.
7 January 2022 | 5 Shares

Hyundai Motor Company, the global mobility innovator, and Unity, the world’s leading platform for creating and operating real-time 3D (RT3D) content, announced at CES 2022 a partnership to jointly design and build a new metaverse roadmap and platform for Meta-Factory.

  • Hyundai and Unity to build a metaverse-oriented digital-twin factory to optimize plant operation and allow virtual problem solving
  • HMGICS innovation hub, which will be completed at the end of 2022, to be the first facility to implement Hyundai’s Meta-Factory concept
  • Hyundai also announced metamobility — its vision for pioneering the use of robotics in both the real world and metaverse 

Hyundai Motor Company and Unity, the world’s leading platform for creating and operating real-time 3D content, announced at CES 2022 a partnership to jointly design and build a new metaverse roadmap and platform for a ‘meta-factory’.

Today, everybody wants to be a part of the metaverse. While it was initially designed as an avenue for users to meet and do activities virtually, there are now more use cases being generated with the concept.

One of them is the meta-factory. The meta-factory is actually a digital twin of an actual factory that is supported by a metaverse platform. It will enable employees of a particular industry to test-run machines and scenarios virtually. This includes operations as well as enabling plant managers to solve problems remotely.

Digital twin technology has been around for some time and is already being used by several industries. The oil and gas industry, for example, uses digital twin to monitor its oil rigs and drills remotely. Not only has it helped them detect and fix problems faster, but it also allows them to have a real-time view over their infrastructure.

Hyundai’s meta-factory will allow Hyundai to test-run a factory virtually in order to calculate optimized plant operation schedules, and enable plant managers to solve problems without having to physically visit the plant. The meta-factory concept will first be applied to their HMGICS facility, supporting the group’s initiative to create an open innovation hub for research and development.

“HMGICS will become a manufacturing innovation game changer through this world class Meta-Factory collaboration. And HMGICS will lead the future innovation by introducing various technologies that will transform mobility paradigm through human-centered value chain innovation,” said Youngcho Chi, President and Chief Innovation Officer of Hyundai Motor Group.

For John Riccitiello, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Unity, real-time digital twins will permanently change how everyone lives, works, shops, making a positive impact on the planet, and representing a significant component of what is often referred to as the metaverse.

“Hyundai’s vision for the future, including the digital twin of factory operations, represents a significant technological step forward in manufacturing with unlimited potential in its efficiency,” he added.
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From meta-factory to metamobility

Also at CES 2022, Hyundai shared its vision for pioneering the use of robotics in both the real world and metaverse. The company revealed its new concept of ‘Metamobility’, with the goal of pioneering a smart device-metaverse connection that will expand the role of mobility to virtual reality (VR), ultimately allowing people to overcome the physical limitations of movement in time and space.

Hyundai envisions that the distinctions between future mobilities will be blurred through the further development of robotics technology, such as AI and autonomous driving. Diverse forms of mobility, including automobiles and urban air mobility (UAM), will also function as smart devices for access to the metaverse platform.

Through metamobility, robots will help people overcome the physical limitations of time and space, providing a means for connecting and interacting in the metaverse. A metaverse using robots as a medium between the real and virtual worlds, will enable people to actually change and transform things in the real world through a metaverse and robot connection.

This metaverse-robot connection will allow the user to guide a robot in the real world, such as in a smart factory. This will enable a next-generation digital model for plant management and manufacturing by enabling remote specialists to connect to all machines and assets within the factory, and perform remote tasks through a direct physical connection using robots and VR.

“The idea behind metamobility is that space, time and distance will all become irrelevant. By connecting robots to the metaverse, we will be able to move freely between both the real world and virtual reality,” said Chang Song, Hyundai Motor Group President and Head of Transportation-as-a-Service Division. Going one step further from the immersive ‘be there’ proxy experience that the metaverse provides, robots will become an extension of our own physical senses, allowing us to reshape and enrich our daily lives with Metamobility.”