I’m always impressed by the way that Audi focuses on technology as a differentiator from other luxury brands, with innovations like driverless cars (pictured above), the new virtual cockpit display that is the gold standard for dashboard interfaces, as well as their e-tron and alternative fuel vehicle innovations. Just last month Audi announced yet another innovationby partnering with China’s top software developers to bring a smarter driving experience to the East. By teaming up with tech giants like Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent, the German brand will hope to dominate the luxury car market in China by allowing smart technology to deliver a ‘fully connected car’. This means that whether it’s receiving access to the latest real-time traffic information, or even using the touchscreen to access driver-friendly apps, it’ll signify just how serious Audi has become about smart technology no matter where you drive.
Brands like Tencent might not be massively well-known in the West, but they’ve already started providing serious competition to Facebook by developing a popular messaging app. And by working with Audi to develop a hands-free way to communicate online whilst driving, it should make it easier to multitask whilst out and about. Similarly, the car manufacturer has been working with software developer Baidu to develop an in-car app called CarLife. This will make it easy to access many of the brand’s popular apps from the dashboard touchscreen. Although it isn’t clear yet what apps will be included, it should feature navigation and entertainment tools so that digital radio stations, user playlists and audiobooks can make that long-distance drive more pleasurable. And seeing as we recently covered car culture in Monte Carlo, the CarLife app could possibly be used to spin the little wheel on the online roulette games at the Lucky Nugget Casino for an extra level of luxury – whilst not driving of course!
But it could be Audi’s plans to team up with Alibaba to create a superior mapping solution that could be the most impressive. This ties the two companies in a mission to create high-resolution three-dimensional maps that incorporate real-time traffic information in a way that would render the traditional sat-nav obsolete.
Above all, the news signifies how the car manufacturers and software industries are starting to form relationships as computers become a bigger part of the automobile experience. So whether you’re using your Audi to get from A to B, or even to play games, it seems that our automobile experience will definitely be getting a lot smarter!
Recent posts in Audi News