|July 5, 2011
Source: Audi of America
Audi connect is the term used for the networking of the automobile with its surroundings, and the brand with the four rings is a leader in this field, too. The Bluetooth online car phone will be available in the Q3 somewhat later as a supplement to the MMI navigation plus. It uses a UMTS module and a WLAN hotspot to connect the compact premium SUV to the Internet.
The UMTS module, which is integrated into the head unit of the MMI navigation plus system, establishes the connection to the special Google services and to the World Wide Web and retrieves news, travel and weather information. Drivers can plan their routes on their computers at home or in the office, upload them to a special section of the Internet site www.audi.com and download them from there on starting the trip.
The navigation system uses the fast UMTS connection to also load satellite and aerial photographs from Google Earth. They appear on the monitor in a bird’s eye view or top-down view superimposed over the map. In addition, photos, descriptions and supplemental information about search results can also be called up.
The WLAN hotspot allows the passengers in the Audi Q3 to connect up to eight mobile end devices – from laptops to smart phones – to the Internet. Communication is via the roof antenna for enhanced quality and stability. A special modulation method called High Speed Downlink Packet Access (HSDPA) enables UMTS data transfers at up to 7.2 Mbit per second. The connection is secured using the modern WPA2 encryption standard.
All the driver of the Audi Q3 needs to go online is a data-capable SIM card. Alternatively, the driver can connect his or her private cellular phone to the system via Bluetooth if the phone supports the SIM Access Profile. No additional fees or separate contracts are required. Given the high data volumes, however, Audi does recommend a flat rate.
Up-to-the-minute information: Audi online traffic information
With the Bluetooth online car phone, Q3 drivers can also use the new Audi traffic information online service, which displays traffic flow data on the navigation map. If the chosen route is free, it appears in green on the monitor. Yellow indicates dense traffic, orange represents slow-moving traffic and red denotes standing traffic. In this case, Audi traffic information online reports the hold-up in a text and computes an alternate route to the destination. The service is launching now in the first European countries.
The Audi system is much faster and more precise than previous TMC solutions because it draws its data from a central server that computes the current traffic situation using the latest data from multiple sources. The most important data are provided by around one million devices that use the cellular phone network to report their current position in short time cycles to a mobility services provider. The provider uses these data to generate a differentiated load diagram for the roads.
The upcoming Audi online services offer even more functions. The updated online voice input makes searching for points of interest (POI) even faster and more convenient because it uses voice recognition and the Google search engine via the Internet.