Audi has used the hashtag #ProgressIs in their social media efforts to highlight all of the innovative ways they are advancing the technology of cars. Audi not only wants to be seen as a luxury brand, but a smart brand that intelligent, progressively minded people buy and enjoy. This post highlights some of the many ways that current and future Audi models are re-shaping the future of the entire auto industry…
Alternative Power – Electric Cars & Hybrids
Days of a purely internal combustion engine are numbered, as the technology of electronic engines, and the batteries that power them, are gradually improving. While innovators such as Tesla are leading the way, Audi has been investing heavily in alternative powerplants from the current range of available hybrids like the Q5 Hybrid to concept cars such as the R8 E-Tron and A3 E-Tron.
In Car Technology & Apps
Audi has been investing heavily in in-car technology, such as adding mobile Wifi hotspots through a partnership with T-Mobile, as well as adding app functionality to the Audi Connect platform. According to ABI Research, more than 60% of vehicles will be directly connected to the internet by 2017. If you start to run low on fuel, your gas app will alert you; if lunchtime’s approaching, a restaurant app will point out the nearest eateries.
Alternative Body Materials
Clunky steel frames will be ditched in favor of ones made from aluminium, carbon fiber, or fiberglass, a change I welcome. Audi debuted yesterday a concept called the “Audi TT Ultra” which is based on the current TT but weighs 625 pounds lighter. Shedding weight not only improves fuel economy, it also results in quicker acceleration and shorter braking distances. These materials are getting cheaper to source and more efficient to use, which means we’re seeing more and more cars adopt these materials rather than steel.
I love and hate this invention, but either way Audi seems to be leading the charge with autonomous vehicles. Audi is currently testing these cars in Nevada based on the TT and has a government permit to do so. Google is also testing similar technology in California. While I enjoy driving, I can see the advantages of having driverless cars for commutes and routine driving (read: non-pleasure driving) in terms of efficiency and safety. I think this is especially important in the US where our public transits are not well developed and thus most cities do not have a reasonable transit option aside from driving anywhere – this will free up people to concentrate on other things while their car drives itself.