Audi connect is now available in nearly the entire Audi model lineup, from the A1 and the brand-new Q3 to the A6, the A7 Sportback and the A8. These models can also be networked with the online world via the optional UMTS module. The fast data transfer enables the integration of pioneering online services, such as navigation using Google Earth satellite images or extremely precise traffic congestion detection with Audi traffic information online. Both services offer tremendous practical benefits. Navigation with content from Google Earth helps improve orientation, and the traffic information enhances the reliability of route planning. Furthermore, the current Audi connect portfolio also delivers weather and travel information or news to the automobile.
All connect services are integrated into the menu structure so that the driver never has to stray from the accustomed Audi operating philosophy to tap into the latest news and information from the internet. This philosophy minimizes distraction and maximizes convenience – both of which are key elements of the Audi connect strategy.
Passengers can take full advantage of the internet by connecting up to eight mobile devices, such as smartphones, to the WLAN hotspot integrated into the vehicle.
Another distinguishing feature of Audi connect is that it enables the Audi models to be extensively networked. “A hallmark of the last decade was the internal networking of the vehicle. This decade, we are going to network the vehicle with its surroundings,” is how Ricky Hudi, head of Electrics/Electronics Development, describes these developments. One aspect of this is the intelligent link between the car and the owner’s smartphone. Audi will also be networking its future models more closely with the traffic infrastructure, such as traffic lights or parking garages, to better inform drivers and to protect them against hazards. A key element of this strategy is the networking of vehicles amongst themselves with the aim of developing swarm intelligence that can be used by all traffic participants.
This approach earned Audi a prize in the Global OEM Infotainment Solution category at the Telematics Update Awards in Novi, Michigan, U.S.A.
In addition, Dr. Peter Steiner, head of Infotainment Development at AUDI AG, was honored as an expert in the Telematics Leadership category. Dr. Steiner obtained his PhD in engineering physics from the Technical University of Munich in 1996. He began his professional career at the firm Temic as head of Airbag Control Unit Development. He joined AUDI AG in 2000, where he was responsible for the Convenience Electronics Development department. He has headed Infotainment Development since 2003. In that time he has overseen the development of multimedia, navigation, audio and telephone systems for the Audi brand as well as the third generation MMI systems. A notable achievement under his leadership was the integration of Google Earth into an automotive navigation system as a world first. Audi and Google were honored for this online functionality with the prize for the "Best Embedded Telematics Navigation Product” at the 2010 Telematics Update Award.