Ford Motor Company tapped AT&T to deliver a private 5G network at a factory where it plans to produce electric versions of one of its top-selling vehicles, citing a need to prepare for future advances in manufacturing tech.

AT&T is deploying the network and its multi-access edge computing (MEC) infrastructure at a factory producing Ford’s electric vehicles where it plans to make non-ICE F-150 pickups.

Ford executive director for global manufacturing engineering Adrian Price stated it is deploying the technology “as a platform to enable us to use significant additional advanced manufacturing technologies in the future”.

AT&T explained the factory’s employees already use mobile devices to communicate information and images related to the manufacturing process, tasks the operator stated would be faster and more reliable over the private 5G network.

It also cited safety benefits by helping automated robotics and machinery make better decisions and react faster.

The private 5G network is part of a $250 million upgrade programme Ford initiated at the factory, which also involves adding 450 jobs.

AT&T and Ford explained they aim to achieve sustainable production and zero landfill waste.