Observing and Understanding in the Volkswagen Autostadt

Steinbeis experts make the logistics process easy to understand for customers

How do they get new cars to people? The pickup center at the main Volkswagen plant in Wolfsburg decided to make its technical processes more clear and easy to understand for customers. To do this, the carmaker turned to the Bremen-based i/i/d Steinbeis Transfer Center (Institute for Integrated Design).

Volkswagen has an Autostadt next to the Mitelland Canal at its production plant. It’s an ideal location to introduce visitors, customers, and new car owners to the brands belonging to the VW corporation. With its fascinating architecture, gardens, brand pavilions, art installations, and a variety of entertainment options, the Autostadt has become an internationally renowned tourist attraction.

Many customers who visit the plant to pick up their new cars also drop into the Autostadt. With its pair of 48-meter-high glass towers, each containing around 400 new cars arranged on 20 levels in preparation for automatic delivery, the Autostadt has become a defining feature of the car factory.

Completely autonomously, cars are added to and removed from the twin towers before being conveyed directly to the customer center. To demonstrate the complex processes that underlie the system, the experts at the i/i/d developed a fascinating modular illustration, which not only provides an overview of the technology but also shows detailed views of each individual section, backed up by numbers, facts, and figures.

By combining animated graphics with real-time video sequences and interesting statistics, the sheer power of the system is highlighted, as are the complexity of the control unit and the skills required by the people working in the Autostadt. The technology turns a visit to pick up a vehicle into a brief lesson on the autonomous logistics of production – an amazing demonstration of Industry 4.0!


Prof. Detlef Rahe
Steinbeis-Transferzentrum i/i/d Institut für Integriertes Design (Bremen)