In addition, due to being
connected to the Google search engine, the driver has instant
access to a huge number of up-to-date points of interest. And
the integrated information service brings information such as
weather, travel data and news into the car.
Thanks to the integrated W-LAN
hotspot, up to eight mobile devices can be linked to the
Internet. In June 2010 an independent jury selected the online
functionality of the Audi A8 and A7 Sportback models as the
“Best Embedded Navigation Telematics Product”.
Additional milestones are due to
follow in Europe during summer 2011, with Audi online traffic
information and expanded voice command controls – which can be
used to find special destinations via Google. Audi online
traffic information provides precise forecasts about traffic
situations on selected routes based on real-time information,
and works faster and more accurately than any previous traffic
In addition, in future Audi
customers in some countries will be able to use Google Street
View as a new online service, and will be able to view the
navigation destination on the MMI display from the pedestrian’s
perspective in a 360-degree radius.
Further into the future, the Audi
online connection will allow customers to use software functions
to influence the car, as well as make use of online services. An
array of functions will be automatically updated or can be
“We’re following a clear strategy
with all Audi connect functions, to keep operation simple,
minimize driver distraction and keep the level of safety high.
The online services are integrated into the sophisticated Audi
display format. The functions intentionally do not offer the
entire spectrum of the Internet, but instead present a selection
that offers maximum usefulness,” said Ricky Hudi, Head of
Electric and Electronic Development at AUDI AG.
Another topic of Audi connect
defines the network between the car and the owner. Here, Audi
connect pairs the automotive environment with the new lifestyle
shaped by the Internet and mobile telephony. Audi drivers will
be able to use a wide range of Smartphone functions that are
specially adapted for their Audi model. For instance, photos
taken with a GPS cell phone can be stored in the navigation
system, which can then show the coordinates for the location of
the photo. The Smartphone also plays an important role in the
mobility plans for cars powered by electricity. With the
prototypes for the Audi A1 e-tron, the driver can view the
status of the rechargeable battery on their cell phone display
at all times. The driver can also check whether the doors and
windows are closed, or if there is any service information.
Controlling interior temperature by cell phone is also possible.
In order to gather practical experience in this area, in summer
2011 Audi and one or two partners will launch a fleet test with
the A1 e-tron.
Another field with which Audi
connect is concerned is the connection between the car and its
environment. This centers around what is known as car-to-car,
car-to-x and x-to-car communications. These terms describe the
exchange of data between various cars, from cars to the
infrastructure, and from the infrastructure to the car.
In order to explore such
technologies, already in 2006 Audi joined up with various
partners to launch the Travolution project. As part of the
project, more than 150 traffic signals in Ingolstadt were
equipped to communicate with 15 test vehicles. This network
recommends the optimal speed for drivers to travel in order to
“ride the green wave.” Optionally, the electronics are capable
of controlling the speed automatically. This improves traffic
flow, results in shorter waiting times, and reduces CO₂
emissions by up to one fifth. In addition, the car’s electronics
intervene if a car threatens to run a red light.
Car-to-car communication also
plays a major role at Audi. If, for example, a car at the end of
a traffic jam can warn cars behind by radio signal, or if
warnings about slick streets can be communicated from one car to
the next, this can increase traffic safety considerably. But
these approaches to research also serve to prepare Audi cars for
driving completely independently. One scenario could include
fatigued drivers in congested areas turning driving over to the
intelligent technology in order to more effectively utilize
“The topics bundled within Audi
connect will largely determine the mobility of the future. With
the applications we presented at the Consumer Electronics Show
in Las Vegas in early 2011, we will contribute significantly to
shaping the networked world of the future. We will be presenting
more innovations for this in the near future. Thanks to the new
Audi connect technologies, driving an Audi will be even more
enjoyable, efficient and safe. And in spite of all of the
networking, the technology will play a supporting role and will
never overrule the driver,” said Rupert Stadler, Chairman of the
Board of Management of AUDI AG.
(Feb. 15, 2011)