AT&T brings 5G capability to Ford Lightning manufacturing facility

AT&T has announced that it has teamed up with Ford to improve wireless connectivity speed inside the Rouge Electric Vehicle Center, part of the Dearborn Rouge site. The facility will be the hub for EV production for Ford moving into the future. AT&T has outfitted the facility with secure next-generation 5G cellular connectivity.The wireless carrier says the private 5G network at the Ford manufacturing facility will help the automaker build its electric Lightning pickup. The private 5G network is based on AT&T 5G utilizing AT&T's Multi-Access Edge Computing (MEC) technology. Ford constructed the Rouge Electric Vehicle Center from the ground up with a clean slate design to utilize the world's most advanced manufacturing and engineering technology.

The deployment of 5G technology within the building will allow the automaker to use additional advanced technology in the future. AT&T says its speedy wireless connectivity will allow Ford to support new technology on the production line allowing employees to use tablet computers to send and receive information about equipment status and inventory.

The network also enables phones to be used as vision systems for scanning components of the vehicle. Automated industrial vehicles and machinery will also be improved with the fast private wireless connectivity. AT&T says the lower latency of its 5G network enables automated robotics machines to make better decisions and improve the reaction time.

One hallmark of the Lightning pickup is the ability to receive wireless vehicle updates. The fast network will allow Ford to make updates wirelessly within the factory, reducing processing time and helping to speed delivery of the vehicles to dealerships. Ford's Lightning pickup is an impressive piece of technology with the EPA estimated range of more than 300 miles.