The Audi connect services
The term “Audi connect” refers to all applications and developments that connect Audi models to the driver, the internet, the infrastructure and other vehicles. A groundbreaking innovation in this field of technology is the new Audi connect SIM, which makes the use of connected functions even more convenient for the customer.
Audi connect is available for all Audi models and follows a uniform principle: The second generation of the Modular Infotainment Platform (MIB) – the technical basis for all infotainment features from Audi – includes an LTE/UTMS module. It establishes the connection to the internet with download speeds of up to 100 MBit/s. An integrated Wi-Fi hotspot enables passengers to surf, email and stream music and movies on their mobile devices. They also have access to a large number of customized Audi connect services.
One of these services is traffic information online, which provides real-time data about the current flow of traffic. If the selected route has good traffic flow, it appears in green in the display; if traffic is heavy or slow-moving it is shown in orange, and traffic jams are highlighted in red. In the latter case, the service indicates the delay due to the traffic jam and suggests the fastest alternate route. Traffic information online covers not only freeways, but also country roads and city streets. It covers most European countries.
The parking information service displays parking lots and parking garages at the current location, the destination or at any other location. Whenever possible, it also indicates the number of available spaces and parking fees. The address of the parking lot or garage can be used as the navigation destination, and its surroundings appear on the MMI monitor via Google Earth and Google Street View. The fuel prices service lists the gas stations with the lowest fuel prices and also considers the type of fuel required.
Flight, bus and train information from Audi connect can be used to check for departure times, train track and gate numbers and any delays. The user can also search for a specific flight number directly.
City events is a service that provides information on a multitude of events at the current location, a travel destination or a freely selectable location. Customers can filter according to various categories such as cultural or sporting events. Rounding out the range of Audi connect services in this area are news online, which can be adapted to personal interests, and travel and weather information.
Audi also integrates the Twitter online community service into Audi connect, preparing it in a vehicle-specific way. Along with the text-to-speech function, which is available in many other services as well, there is also a text function. This enables the driver to send out predefined text modules that can be combined with additional data such as the current position, if desired. In many Audi models, the driver can transfer emails from a smartphone to the car and have them read aloud or even dictate text messages (SMS) and send them out. A server in the cloud converts the sound file into a data packet.
Many Audi connect services and functions can be controlled via the natural speech voice control system, including the point-of-interest (POI) search. Here too, the system converts the voice command into a data packet and sends it to the Google search engine. POI send to car enables any destination to be selected in Google Maps or via the MMI connect app and forwarded to the car. Five free semi-annual updates of the navigation map are available for many Audi models equipped with MMI navigation plus.
In spring 2016, Audi rolled out another attractive innovation to Europe with the Audi connect SIM. This is what is known as an embedded SIM (e-SIM) that is permanently installed in the car. The Audi connect SIM is available for many Audi models that use the second-generation Modular Infotainment Platform (MIB2). These are currently the A3, A4, A5, Q2 and Q7 model series.
The new SIM card offers significant value, particularly to those customers who frequently travel to other European countries. In most countries, it autonomously accesses the respective provider, as needed. This eliminates annoying roaming fees and roaming confirmation procedures. With the Audi connect SIM, customers can use the Audi connect services with unlimited data from the date of purchase of their new car. For A3, A4, A5 and Q2 models equipped with MMI navigation plus, the service is free of charge for three years.
Customers can also purchase additional data packages for the Wi-Fi hotspot, independent of the integrated Audi connect services. If a customer selects a European package, the data transfer continues to function at the fixed price when crossing an international border, and thus when changing Internet provider. Data packages are available from the online shop of Audi’s partner Cubic Telecom, a leading provider of global seamless connectivity solutions. Customers can reach the shop via their myAudi account. Once the appropriate packages have been enabled, they can be ordered directly from the car in the MMI system.
Customers may also continue to use their own SIM card in the car and establish Wi-Fi internet access through their own cellular provider. In this case, the Audi connect SIM is temporarily deactivated, and the data volume used for the Audi connect services is charged against the personal SIM card.
The Wi-Fi hotspot is a component of the optional navigation systems. It allows all passengers to surf the internet at attractive rates with up to eight mobile devices. The Wi-Fi hotspot also provides in-car access to the services Online Media Streaming, Web Radio, Aupeo! and Napster.
Audi connect safety & service
Audi is continuously expanding its online services. With Audi connect safety & service, customers can receive assistance in numerous situations. The new services are currently available in the A4, A5 and Q7 model series.
Audi connect safety & service includes the services emergency call, online roadside assistance and Audi service request. The data and voice connection runs via a separate wireless communication module independent of customer telephony that uses an embedded SIM card installed in the car at a crash-safe location.
The car autonomously makes an emergency call following a detected accident. It establishes a voice and data connection with the Audi Emergency Call Center and supplies important data such as GPS coordinates, direction of travel and number of occupants. Over a voice connection, a specially trained service employee asks the driver and passengers in their native language for further details about the severity of the accident so that arrangements for the best form of assistance can be set in motion without delay.
If the accident victims are not capable of voice communication, the service employee contacts the rescue coordination center, which dispatches an emergency ambulance to the accident scene. The driver or front passenger can also activate the emergency call manually using a switch in the roof module. Because the emergency call module has its own power source, it can still establish a voice connection even if the car’s electrical system has failed.
When an online roadside assistance call comes in, the Audi Service Center is sent the position and the relevant data on the car’s status. With Audi service request, the car sends service-relevant data to the workshop specified by the customer in the myAudi portal two weeks prior to scheduled maintenance. The service partner can then contact the customer to schedule an appointment.
The Audi connect safety & service package is available for all new models in the A4, A5 and Q7 families for a one-time fee of 250 euros and also includes the myCarManager remote services, which run via the Audi MMI connect app. The services are available in Germany and most European countries free of charge for a period of ten years (remote services: three years) from delivery of the new car. The costs arising for data and voice connections are included in the package price.
The Audi MMI connect app
The free Audi MMI connect app makes using the car even more attractive. It enables customers to use their smartphones to access information and for various functions from online media streaming to new remote services. The e-tron models Audi Q7 e-tron quattro* and A3 Sportback e-tron* can also use the app to charge the battery and operate the HVAC system remotely.
The current version of the Audi MMI connect app is available for download free of charge in the online portal myAudi and on the Apple and Google store platforms. Users can receive over 3,000 internet radio stations and store their favorites on their smartphones. The app also enables music stored locally on the smartphone to be played through the car’s audio system.
Another function, online media streaming, offers access to the catalogs of Napster, Rhapsody and Aupeo!. Audi customers thus can choose from nearly 20 million MP3 music titles and several thousand audio books. As with all the other functions of the Audi MMI connect app, the files are transferred via Wi-Fi from the smartphone to the MMI navigation or MMI navigation plus infotainment system (depending on equipment and model).
New to the portfolio is the Calendar service, which transfers the smartphone’s appointment calendar to the car. The user can then dial the number of person they are meeting directly and save it as a contact in the infotainment system. The location of the meeting can also be used as a navigation destination. The system will also read the place, time and subject of the appointment to the user, if desired.
Destinations from Google maps, points of interest (POI) and listings from the Travel service can be transferred from the cell phone to the car’s navigation system using the app. The service Destination Sharing enables smartphone users to send navigation destinations to the car from numerous apps. The Share function sends the respective data to the Audi MMI connect app.
The vehicle-specific myCarManager services are particularly interesting. They provide access to information about the car and provide convenient remote control of basic functions via smartphone. These services are available for the new A4, A5 and Q7 model series. With the Audi MMI connect app, customers can use their smartphones to lock or unlock the doors and to program, start and stop the auxiliary heater. They can also view an up-to-date status report on the car that includes a range of information, from the amount of fuel in the tank to the oil level. The parking location and duration can also be displayed, and the app directs the driver back to his or her car. These remote functions can also be used with a smartwatch or the fourth-generation Apple TV. Audi attaches maximum importance to data security here. Communication therefore never passes directly between the smartphone and the car; there is always a secure Audi server in between.
Because locking and unlocking the doors requires additional authentication between the Audi server and the car, the car would not respond to a command from an unauthorized, third-party server. An extra PIN must be entered via the smartphone to enable all remote actions affecting the car. Customers define the PIN themselves in the myAudi portal, where they can also grant rights to up to five people. A maximum of five different cars can be managed via one account.
The Audi MMI connect app offers additional remote services in the USA. They alert owners via smartphone if their car is being moved in a way that is expressly prohibited in the owner’s individual configuration. The geofencing alert is activated if the car leaves or enters a predefined zone, and curfew alert is triggered if the car is driven during an unauthorized time of day. Valet alert reports unauthorized use of the car in valet parking, and the speed alert informs the owner if the car is being driven above a predefined speed. If the car is stolen, the stolen vehicle locater helps to localize the car by sending position data to the police.
Audi connect e-tron services
The Audi MMI connect up offers customized functions for the Audi Q7 e-tron 3.0 TDI quattro* with plug-in hybrid drive: the Audi connect e-tron services. Owners can use them to view statistical trip data, check the battery charge and electric range, begin/end charging or to program multiple charging timers. They can also specify whether the interior should be heated or cooled prior to departure. The advantage of preheating/precooling while still plugged in is that the SUV can make full and efficient use of the energy stored in its batteries for driving, thus increasing electric range.
Similar, country-specific services are available for the Audi Q7 e-tron
2.0 TFSI quattro, which Audi sells in Asia. The same applies for the compact Audi A3 Sportback e-tron.
Audi’s semiconductor strategy
The Modular Infotainment Platform (MIB) exemplifies the strategy Audi is pursuing with respect to electronic hardware and semiconductors, in particular. They are the decisive key for the future: Nearly 90 percent of all automotive innovations are directly or indirectly associated with semiconductors. There are already between 6,000 and 8,000 processors working in the brand’s models today, and the trend is toward further growth. Semiconductors drive progress in all areas of electronic development – from electric mobility and piloted driving to connectivity and infotainment.
The Progressive SemiConductor Program
Audi initiated the Progressive SemiConductor Program (PSCP) in 2010. The goal of the interdisciplinary semiconductor strategy is to make the latest technologies available to Audi models early on to satisfy the changing expectations of customers in terms of ease of use, performance, reliability and safety.
Audi sets the highest standards for semiconductors installed in the automobile, especially in terms of their robustness, long-term quality and functionality over a broad temperature range. The company is able to quickly bring new technologies to the automobile thanks to its close collaboration with such leading companies as NVIDIA, Qualcomm, Analog Devices, NXP, ST Microelectronics, Renesas and Samsung Semiconductor.
The system component supplier is a key partner in the collaborative program. The Audi engineers with their long years of electronics development experience also speak directly with the semiconductor manufacturers. This intensive dialog leads to high efficiency and effectiveness, enabling innovations at short intervals that are approaching the high pace in the consumer electronics industry.
The autoSWIFT project
Audi is collaborating with leading German research and industrial partners in the autoSWIFT project to research and develop new approaches for faster development cycles in the automotive industry. Funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, the project is focused on faster innovation cycles for electronic systems along the automotive value-added chain. The cross-company and interdisciplinary joint development of automotive components is intended to enable the suitability of future technologies to be assessed during their development phase and incorporated into the product development processes sooner than before. This will bring the latest semiconductor technologies into harmony with the high quality standards of the automotive industry.
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.