Today, more than 75 percent of Germans live in towns. The worldwide trend is similar. Many regions of the world are seeing the emergence of more and more megacities with populations of more than ten million. In the long term, individual mobility will only be a viable prospect by working together with the cities and as part of an urban eco-system.
For some time now, Audi has been researching and developing concepts for comprehensive mobility in the networked Smart City. As part of the Audi Urban Future Award, the company has already been putting these concepts to the test in various megacities around the world, the intention being to find the ideal way of integrating individual premium mobility into an urban landscape that will enhance the quality of life of its inhabitants.
The Audi Summit is showcasing intelligent concepts and technologies that, in tomorrow’s Smart Cities, will help to make better use of scarce resources such as time, space and air. In so doing, life in the city will be sustainably improved.
1. myAudi App: Vorsprung durch smartphone at the market launch of the A8
The modern automobile has long since been regarded as the “Ultimate Mobile Device”. Just as the smartphone took the original concept of wireless telephony to a revolutionary new level, digital networking with the environment is opening up a new world of services for the customer in the high-performance “auto-mobile” computer. And these services have long since extended far beyond operation of the vehicle itself.
With myAudi, Audi is working on a new digital eco-system for its customers. In future, this will enable the customer to use an intuitive interface to book, manage and use all of the digital services offered by Audi. At the Audi Summit, the company is showcasing its new myAudi app which will enable customers to seamlessly integrate their world into tomorrow’s mobility. It saves the premium segment customer time, time that they can then spend on living life to the full.
The new myAudi app will debut with the launch of the new Audi A8. An update for other users of the previous Audi apps “MMI connect” and “myAudi mobile assistant” will be available from Google Playstore and iTunes. As a result, all users throughout the world are upgraded to the same technical level and are able to get all the appropriate services on their smartphone, depending on the vehicle model.
Existing users of the previous apps do not need to re-register with myAudi. New customers register and, from their smartphone, are then able to manage the individual connect services of their choice, as well as book service appointments and get information about their car. This requires that the relevant vehicle identification number be stored in the system. In future, the content will also be available on PCs via a web interface and will be optimized so that the customer is able to use the different functionalities wherever it is easiest and most sensible to use them – functions directly relating to the vehicle, for example, will be predominantly used via the smartphone.
Remote functions include, for example, piloted parking, locking and unlocking of the car, checking where the car is parked and calling up the vehicle status. The status report includes information that the customer can have displayed via smartphone about the opened/closed state of windows and unlocked/locked state of doors, remaining range, fuel level and oil level. The app can also be used to conveniently program the optional auxiliary heating function.
In e-tron models, the current charge level and remaining electric driving range can be called up using the app. The driver can activate the charging process and climate control remotely – including at specific times with user-configurable timers. Information on recent journeys and average electrical energy consumption, for instance, is still available to the driver at all times.
Where navigation is concerned, the myAudi app offers a very wide range of possible uses and, with the new myAudi navigation function, caters for all the user’s navigation needs. Firstly, all the user’s vehicles that have been added are displayed on a map. After the user selects a vehicle, the First Mile Navigation function guides him or her to where their Audi is located. At that point, the active route guidance function of the myAudi app is transferred to the vehicle, from where it can seamlessly continue doing its job. At the end of the journey, when the user leaves the vehicle, the Last Mile Navigation function of the myAudi app takes over to guide the user along the rest of the route to their final destination. The customer can also run a dealer search on the app to find their Audi Partner of choice.
The myAudi app is now even better able to assist with demystifying and simplifying the complex world of urban mobility and saving the customer time. Over the coming years, many more new related services will be added which will also integrate the world outside the car into the technical infrastructure of the Audi.
These new services will also be available for existing customers as updates or in-app purchases. By the middle of the coming decade, such services on the myAudi digital platform, together with the envisaged gain in efficiency, will make a substantial contribution to the company’s earnings. Vorsprung that creates the means to offer even more premium services in the mobile world.
2. Audi on demand – premium mobility service in 15 markets by 2020
The fascination with individual mobility is unwavering. Then as now, the car remains a symbol of this freedom of movement. For many people, however, this no longer necessarily means having to own your own car. In fast growing cities in particular, more and more people are using the available public transport system alongside conventional taxis services such as Uber and car sharing. The digital revolution is making this happen, helping to make a wide range of cars more readily available. And that simply by tapping on your smartphone.
Such services are already widespread in cities. The fast availability and high level of flexibility for which these services are noted have given rise to an exciting business segment that is driven by innovation. Coupled with the trend towards the sharing economy, new models of access to vehicles and associated new business models and potential for future growth are being developed. Audi is playing an increasing role here with innovative premium mobility offers. At the Audi Summit, the company is demonstrating solutions for those who wish to use the latest Audi models in a flexible way – when and wherever they want.
Audi aims to appeal to both private and business customers: with Audi select, which allows the customer to choose between up to the three different models in a year for an all-inclusive rate; with Audi at home, a mobility solution for upscale living in megacities; with Audi shared fleet, an intelligent company car management system; and with Audi on demand, a premium mobility service with billing by the hour and guaranteed rental of a specific model.
In future, all these services will be bundled together and offered under the Audi on demand product brand. The customer and his or her wish for flexibility and to make “more of their time”, combined with the promise of a premium driving experience, are at the heart of each one. The Four Rings are showcasing the new brand identity of Audi on demand at the Audi Summit and giving the first insights into the market launch strategy. Audi is aiming to have its range of mobility services present in 15 markets around the world by 2020. Audi on demand is about to be launched in China. By strengthening its partnership with Silvercar, a strong player on the American market, Audi is also pushing forward the expansion of these services there too. Additional locations and markets will likewise be added in Europe by 2018.
In 2013, as part of its mobility strategy, AUDI AG founded Audi Business Innovation GmbH, a wholly-owned subsidiary. The company complements the brand’s core business with Audi on demand and, amongst other things, provides a central booking platform as well as in-car technology for the service. Audi Business Innovation GmbH is also the interface for various forms of cooperation with external partners in the mobility sector.
3. Audi Innovation Research: the vision from Beijing and San-Francisco
The future starts in the mind: with visions, wishes, desires. And is followed up with decisions and investments. Anyone seeking to keep track of future desires and values has the opportunity to invest in Vorsprung today. AIR, Audi Innovation Research, is an example of this.
Audi is inquisitive. The company is forever seeking solutions that move people. It does this throughout the world, where the future is being shaped and lived. At Audi, the AIR team of trend and innovation researchers in Ingolstadt, Beijing and San Francisco investigates the drivers of social change and inquire about the implications for the Audi brand. The three teams are part of a worldwide innovation network at AUDI AG. Their mission: the Next Big Thing.
The findings from AIR’s work fuel the high-performance work of the Four Rings: they provide stimulus for brand strategy and answer research questions from various technical departments – the core topic here being digitalization from the customer viewpoint. The findings allow insights into key strategic markets and give indications of undiscovered business potential. At the same time, they pass on open questions or customers’ wishes to the headquarters.
This knowledge exchange is enriching – especially as a live experience. The AIR teams “share” their latest results at SHAIRE, an event for Audi employees. This is a perfect meeting place for discussions and at the same time provides an insight into the lifestyle that is moving people in cities in key overseas markets.
An open attitude, regular exchanges of opinions and experience, and teamwork are the basic principles of AIR’s work. Meanwhile, a global network of creative people has been established which, together with AIR, is working on visionary concepts, testing prototypes or simply sounding out new ideas. As trend receivers, they inspire the work of AIR and launch innovations.
In this process, each office has its own role. In Beijing, the focus is on the customer’s living environment. Audi has been at that location for more than 25 years. During this time, the country has changed enormously – as have the customers’ needs. Today, China is a trendsetter and sets the pace in many areas. In China, there is tremendous will to exploit its huge potential for innovation. The tremendous openness of the Chinese people also means that new ideas, technology and trends are accepted extremely quickly and spread like wildfire. In future, it’s likely that many trends will emerge first in China and will be subsequently adopted by the Western world. And those who are familiar with these trends will be one step ahead – Vorsprung.
The main focus in the USA is on innovation scouting and partnering. Silicon Valley is a power house of new ideas and a magnet for visionary startup founders. The power of digitalization has unleashed a new era from here. With its breathtaking pace of innovation, it is questioning classic business models and turning whole sectors on their head: it is re-inventing branches of industry and challenging longstanding concepts. It has already created a huge stir in the media, retail and services sector. Now, digitalization has reached the automobile industry and is challenging the sector’s major players. The battle cry “Go big or go home” applies to every innovation that wants to flourish here as the business model.
AIR’s heart beats in Ingolstadt. In addition to its own user research, the office there coordinates AIR’s activities. Proximity to the headquarters ensures fast communication and rapid decision making. Inquiries can be answered quickly and results can be distributed rapidly. This occurs in both directions. That’s because AIR doesn’t just keep its finger on the pulse of global trendsetters. It synchronizes that pulse with the wealth of innovative ideas that are being fed back from the Audi digital car company itself.
In so doing, it ensures that Audi’s urban mobility products and services are already being tuned to tomorrow’s trends. By 2020, for example, three pilot projects involving piloted driving and parking, traffic light systems, tailor-made mobility concepts and integrated traffic management will be underway around the world. Crucially, these projects are based on the findings of Audi Innovation Research. The trend is your friend.
The equipment, data and prices specified in this document refer to the model range offered in Germany. Subject to change without notice; errors and omissions excepted.