SEOUL—Hyundai recently opened a facility in Singapore that is a 21st century version of Fiat’s famous Lingotto assembly plant in Turin, Italy, complete with a banked rooftop test track. The Hyundai Motor Group Innovation Center Singapore (HMGICS) will serve as a “smart urban mobility hub.”

The seven-story facility includes a highly automated flexible production system and provides new experiences for electric vehicle buyers.

“HMGICS is an open and connected urban innovation hub that encourages and embraces creativity and collaboration,” says Euisun Chung, executive chairman of Hyundai Motor Group. “It seeks to completely redefine the very concept of manufacturing.

“We thought hard about how to meet the diverse needs of our many customers,” explains Chung. “By combining our manufacturing expertise and the latest cutting-edge technologies, the result is…a new paradigm of manufacturing.

“Delivering a human-centric manufacturing approach, HMGICS elevates collaboration between people, robotics and artificial intelligence technology to new levels of synchronization,” claims Chung. “Digital twin meta-factory technology will ensure ultra-rapid responses to changing customer demands and production requirements.”

Vehicles such as the IONIQ 5 and IONIQ 6 are assembled in “a cell-based production system that leaves behind the traditional conveyor-belt manufacturing approach to achieve unsurpassed standards of flexibility and automation. Approximately 50 percent of all tasks are carried out by 200 robots, with humans, robotics and AI systems achieving unprecedented levels of collaboration thanks to integration made possible by the digital twin platform.

“HMGICS synchronizes the virtual and physical worlds in real time,” says Chung. “This enables humans and robots to cooperate in ways not seen before. Employees can simulate tasks in the digital virtual space, or metaverse, while robots physically move components on the production line.”

“Robots perform assembly, inspection and production facility organization, and take care of more than 60 percent of component process management, ordering and transportation,” adds Alpesh Patel, vice president of HMGICS. “This frees humans from repetitive and laborious tasks to focus on more creative and productive duties.

“With the help of robotics, AI, and the Internet of Things, we’ve built a human-centric manufacturing innovation system that can respond to changes in mobility, processes and products with agility and flexibility,” notes Patel. “These innovations are setting new benchmarks for efficiency and customization.”

One of the highlights of the new facility is a 2,000-foot rooftop Skytrack that enables customers to take a test drive. In addition, HMGICS features a vertical Smart Farm that uses automation to produce up to nine different crops. Harvested produce is given to customers as a memento of their visit. It’s also donated to local communities in Singapore. The crops will also feature on the menu of a tasting lounge and farm-to-table restaurant scheduled to open later this year.

“Hyundai Motor Group is leading the mobility paradigm shift, but we are determined to deliver even greater levels of innovation,” says Hong-Bum Jung, senior vice president and CEO of HMGICS. “[This facility] will enable us to shape the future of mobility production, and indeed, the manufacturing industry, in collaboration with the culture of open innovation and forward-looking policies that Singapore is renowned for globally.”