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demand for E tron

 
Old 01-14-2019, 05:50 AM
  #21  
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Originally Posted by gk1 View Post
That is very strange. If you are under warranty usually just complaining of an issue that you know from the forums is fixed in a newer version, like "my windows phone won't connect", will prompt any dealer to do an MMI update. If you are out of warranty simply saying "here is my credit card please install the latest MMI software" should work. I've yet to encounter a dealer who would not take money to do whatever you want.
I have had exactly the same experience with our early version 18 SQ5. There are multiple MMI issues, including frequent crashes and restarts. CarPlay works about 25% of the time. The dealer prefers to blame me for the MMI issues rather than try to fix them. They actually referred to it as "fixing the customer rather than the car." Essentially, they tell me people buy Audis for performance and luxury rather than reliable electronics. The SQ5 is under warranty, btw.

We also have a Tesla, and my experience does not support suggestions that Audi's e-tron software will need fewer OTA updates because it will be better/more reliable at launch.
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Old 01-14-2019, 06:51 AM
  #22  
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Originally Posted by Tom-ETRON View Post

As for OTA, E-Tron will not be as over the air configurable as say a Tesla. The architecture of the electronics will not allow that, but it should be delivered initially with 100% functionality, and updates to fix infotainment bugs should be able to be done through the telematics. Tesla often gets praise for their OTA updates, but often are just fixing big bugs, and adding functions that the hardware was installed in the car, but software not written at delivery. One example, my buddy got an early model 3, and the rear heated seats did not work for the first 4 months, then the control software was added and wow... they worked. People praise Tesla for this, but I look at it differently, I prefer the company finish the software development and ship me a car that has 100% functionality from day 1. Audi will not be adding 80's Atari games and fart sounds to E-Tron I am afraid. Actually VW ID products use a new electronic architecture that will be much more flexible OTA.
The statement that OTA updates are just bug fixes is simply incorrect. There are several well documented examples of Tesla actually improving performance, adding features/functionality, and performing recalls with OTA updates. If the e-tron is supposed to be the future of the company and Audi just spent all this time and money and the "architecture of the electronics" does not allow for rapid SW iteration and frequent updates, I'm afraid the writing is on the wall with the success of this vehicle and most likely the company. It may take 2-5yrs (another production cycle) but Audi (and any other auto manufacturer who does not build a SW-first mentality) will become obsolete. The value gap will continue to widen, and more rapidly. That first gen e-tron will be an obsolete boat anchor in 18-24 months. If what you say is actually true (and I have seriously doubts they would bet the company on an obsolete architecture) Audi will either completely re-architect the underlying SW platform or they will be gone in 10yrs. Witness every other industry being completely revolutionized by SW and digital transformation: hospitality, music, TV, ride sharing, financial... autos are no different. Especially EV's. Forget about the consumer experience (the most important piece) and take recalls alone - the cost of a recall and servicing to the manufacturer. No company will be able to compete long term by doing every recall via snail mail and dealer visit against someone who can simply push an update OTA.
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Old 01-14-2019, 08:31 AM
  #23  
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Originally Posted by sierraskier View Post
The statement that OTA updates are just bug fixes is simply incorrect. There are several well documented examples of Tesla actually improving performance, adding features/functionality, and performing recalls with OTA updates. If the e-tron is supposed to be the future of the company and Audi just spent all this time and money and the "architecture of the electronics" does not allow for rapid SW iteration and frequent updates, I'm afraid the writing is on the wall with the success of this vehicle and most likely the company. It may take 2-5yrs (another production cycle) but Audi (and any other auto manufacturer who does not build a SW-first mentality) will become obsolete. The value gap will continue to widen, and more rapidly. That first gen e-tron will be an obsolete boat anchor in 18-24 months. If what you say is actually true (and I have seriously doubts they would bet the company on an obsolete architecture) Audi will either completely re-architect the underlying SW platform or they will be gone in 10yrs. Witness every other industry being completely revolutionized by SW and digital transformation: hospitality, music, TV, ride sharing, financial... autos are no different. Especially EV's. Forget about the consumer experience (the most important piece) and take recalls alone - the cost of a recall and servicing to the manufacturer. No company will be able to compete long term by doing every recall via snail mail and dealer visit against someone who can simply push an update OTA.
I think you are right, SOTA is going to be a big part of OEM's new platforms. I am familiar with Tesla increasing performance, only a couple times with software, hence the reason I stated Tesla "often" uses their OTA capability for bug fixes. "Often" is not a statement of definite fact. As for the E-Tron being a boat anchor, I think you are being a bit overly dramatic. For folks like you VW ID cars will have an updated systems architecture and will be able to do most functionality OTA, as will Cadillac's upcoming BEV products. For now, there are several great EV's available for people, and as with anything it is not one size fits all... For instance I would rather buy I-Pace then E-tron because the car is more sporty, and fun, but you want to talk about buggy infotainment... for my family E-Tron just makes more sense rationally, as having kids in car seats means maximum interior room is needed. I also like where Audi is pushing the tech on the brake by wire, so my wife can drive the car just as efficiently as I do, although we go about regen braking in different ways. Charging though is the clincher, Tesla Model X is 50% slower charging than E-Tron on a road trip (repeated 20-80%), and the Electrify America network in the area I live will have great coverage in the areas we would take a road trip.
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Old 01-14-2019, 08:58 AM
  #24  
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Originally Posted by AudiA4B6US View Post
No OTA updates is one thing but no updates at all is a thing from the last decade. For the last two years I'm trying to get an MMI update to fix some of the most annoying issues and all dealers decline it. I'm fine with no OTA updates but getting updated software only with a new car is a show stopper. I don't own a Tesla and I don't know much about how they do their updates. But based on public reports, Tesla owners regularly get new features and not just bug fixes as you call it. My Lane Assist (not TJA) is pretty much unusable in the city, traffic sign recognition is 100% wrong on certain streets and the MMI crashes regularly or behaves not as designed. All issues that can be fixed in software but Audi NA declines any request to provide those updates. I'm sure that there will be plenty of people leasing e-trons for 2, 3 or 4 years and not caring about updates (or door dings). Those who actually own their cars and take care of them will sooner or later avoid Audi and any other car manufacturer that doesn't provide regular software maintenance in the same way as they require hardware maintenance. I would not buy a premium phone/tablet/computer if I only get support for a year or two and are supposed to upgrade to a new phone after that and I do not plan on doing any different with my next car.
At this stage of the game if you want to constantly have state of the art, you will only Lease a BEV because the hardware (as well as software) tech is changing fast. Audi is upping the game on the E-Tron with 150+ kW charging 10-80% SOC, and brake by wire, but in a couple years Porsche will be here with their SUV (after Taycan) with 350 kW charging, and the game will be upgraded again. GM is said to be working on greater than 350 kW charging systems, and battery voltage up to 1000v. Somewhere along the line Tesla will be upgrading their system to V3 supercharging which will obsolete all S and X vehicles made before, as they do not have the battery cooling tech to charge any faster than they currently do. Current Tesla S and X are limited to a certain number of supercharges and then the BMS locks into a lower charging mode, which makes the peak 90 kW instead of 116 kW they draw when new. Because Tesla built their own charging network, and capped voltage at 410v for Superchargers, they will need to replace nearly all of their gear when they go to a higher voltage battery configuration, that's going to be expensive. Electrify America is built out with 920-1000v units... some future proofing at least for the next decade. Working with Electrify America on their Cycle 2 plan I got some insight into their thought process moving forward. Cycle 2 is much like the current Cycle 1 in chargers capabilities, but Cycle 3-4 they are planning even more powerful chargers as the technology advances. I focus on charging, because that is where the separation will be between haves, and have nots. Infotainment? most car buyers simply do not care as much about infotainment as they do about other aspects of the car. Apple is the wildcard in this space IMO, they have been spending an awful lot of $$ on car tech (not Apple Car Play), and I do not think they are naive enough to get into heavy metal manufacturing by launching their own car, production. I think their plan is to sell software and hardware to other OEM's... That will be game changing if, and when it arrives.
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Old 01-14-2019, 09:29 AM
  #25  
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Originally Posted by Tom-ETRON View Post
At this stage of the game if you want to constantly have state of the art, you will only Lease a BEV because the hardware (as well as software) tech is changing fast. Audi is upping the game on the E-Tron with 150+ kW charging 10-80% SOC, and brake by wire, but in a couple years Porsche will be here with their SUV (after Taycan) with 350 kW charging, and the game will be upgraded again. GM is said to be working on greater than 350 kW charging systems, and battery voltage up to 1000v. Somewhere along the line Tesla will be upgrading their system to V3 supercharging which will obsolete all S and X vehicles made before, as they do not have the battery cooling tech to charge any faster than they currently do. Current Tesla S and X are limited to a certain number of supercharges and then the BMS locks into a lower charging mode, which makes the peak 90 kW instead of 116 kW they draw when new. Because Tesla built their own charging network, and capped voltage at 410v for Superchargers, they will need to replace nearly all of their gear when they go to a higher voltage battery configuration, that's going to be expensive. Electrify America is built out with 920-1000v units... some future proofing at least for the next decade. Working with Electrify America on their Cycle 2 plan I got some insight into their thought process moving forward. Cycle 2 is much like the current Cycle 1 in chargers capabilities, but Cycle 3-4 they are planning even more powerful chargers as the technology advances. I focus on charging, because that is where the separation will be between haves, and have nots. Infotainment? most car buyers simply do not care as much about infotainment as they do about other aspects of the car. Apple is the wildcard in this space IMO, they have been spending an awful lot of $$ on car tech (not Apple Car Play), and I do not think they are naive enough to get into heavy metal manufacturing by launching their own car, production. I think their plan is to sell software and hardware to other OEM's... That will be game changing if, and when it arrives.
I respectfully disagree with this statement and the Tesla S is the best example for that. Even the first MY Tesla S owners still get software updates that improve their cars within the limitations of the installed hardware. Tesla drivers who bought the full self driving package are expecting a free hardware upgrade to bring their gen 2 cars up to gen 3 specs. This is what makes it worthwhile to spend a few thousand dollars on a feature that is clearly pre-production but still has its benefits. If Audi does not get this then there will be no future.

I spend a few thousand $ on the Prestige and Driver Assist package. I do not look for state of the art and I do not expect Audi to provide any functionality that I did not buy at the time I took over the car. But I do expect them to provide free (for example included in AudiCare) or even paid software updates to bring my car up to specs and fix those annoying issues. I had the chance to drive a 2018 Audi A4 (about 2 years younger than mine) in Germany for a week and about 1500km, and its adaptive cruise control, lane assist, traffic sign recognition and MMI/carplay was working noticeably better, smoother and more responsive. I'm sure when I get a loaner the next time my A4 B9 is in for service I will also notice differences, especially when they concern issues that are on my to be fixed list.

Audi made a big deal of it when they switched to the 3rd gen MMI, stating that it is modular to grow with future demands. If they now say that they cannot support Google Earth overlay in pre MY 2019 cars (just an example since the date keeps changing) and all it takes is to upgrade a component for reasonable cost (i.e. the modem or software in the MMI head unit) then it is poor customer service that will not be honored in the future.

Unless Audi provides software updates as part of scheduled service or OTA they will make their premium brand loose value faster than they can blink with their eyes. I'm driving Audi for more than 20 years, VW for another 10 and I don't like Tesla's design. But if that is what it takes to get a car that keeps its value, then that is what it will be.
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Old 01-14-2019, 10:25 AM
  #26  
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Originally Posted by AudiA4B6US View Post
I respectfully disagree with this statement and the Tesla S is the best example for that. Even the first MY Tesla S owners still get software updates that improve their cars within the limitations of the installed hardware. Tesla drivers who bought the full self driving package are expecting a free hardware upgrade to bring their gen 2 cars up to gen 3 specs. This is what makes it worthwhile to spend a few thousand dollars on a feature that is clearly pre-production but still has its benefits. If Audi does not get this then there will be no future.

I spend a few thousand $ on the Prestige and Driver Assist package. I do not look for state of the art and I do not expect Audi to provide any functionality that I did not buy at the time I took over the car. But I do expect them to provide free (for example included in AudiCare) or even paid software updates to bring my car up to specs and fix those annoying issues. I had the chance to drive a 2018 Audi A4 (about 2 years younger than mine) in Germany for a week and about 1500km, and its adaptive cruise control, lane assist, traffic sign recognition and MMI/carplay was working noticeably better, smoother and more responsive. I'm sure when I get a loaner the next time my A4 B9 is in for service I will also notice differences, especially when they concern issues that are on my to be fixed list.

Audi made a big deal of it when they switched to the 3rd gen MMI, stating that it is modular to grow with future demands. If they now say that they cannot support Google Earth overlay in pre MY 2019 cars (just an example since the date keeps changing) and all it takes is to upgrade a component for reasonable cost (i.e. the modem or software in the MMI head unit) then it is poor customer service that will not be honored in the future.

Unless Audi provides software updates as part of scheduled service or OTA they will make their premium brand loose value faster than they can blink with their eyes. I'm driving Audi for more than 20 years, VW for another 10 and I don't like Tesla's design. But if that is what it takes to get a car that keeps its value, then that is what it will be.
Tesla's do hold their value well, but you are talking about a car like its an investment? I drove a Q8 with MMI, like I said, seemed very good to me. I do not need additional apps, etc, with apple car play I use Google maps, and Waze... Seems pretty solid. What app has Tesla added that has value for the average user that MMI does not have? Maybe the dash cam, but the quality of recording is so poor, even a $59 aftermarket dash cam provides better video quality. Fart noises? 80's Atari games? haha! I just drove a new S P100D last week, was my friends loaner as his X was getting worked on again (3rd time in 6 months) The UX for video games in the Tesla sucks, may entertain you for a few minutes while charging... After the E-Tron has already gotten its charge and hit the road... Again, If SOTA was all the rage, and 17 M cars were sold in the USA last year and only 1% had capability, hmmm I am not seeing your point. I think you are confusing your feelings for the general market. Toyota infotainment is bad, but very few complain. GM infotainment is bad, again, no doom and gloom, CEO just announced profit in 2018 exceeded expectations, and 2019 is looking even better. Jaguar I-Pace infotainment is a great concept, but very poorly executed, and buggy as all get out. From November I read I-Pace is outselling Tesla S and X in the Netherlands (the only region the I-pace supply channel is full so far) Jaguar I-Pace also outsold Model X in Norway at the end of 2018. Now, I am not saying your opinion will not be true in 5 or 10 years, but it is not reality today.

Full Self Driving? haha! Not even going to have that discussion again, have you noticed Tesla took Full Self Driving off the menu? Try to order it... There was a test of the latest autopilot on a Model 3 yesterday, and Bjorn Nyland (teslabjorn on you tube) stated he felt it is dangerous, and was braking hard when it saw shadows of overpasses he was going under. I just chuckle when people talk Tesla and FSD...It seems GM is the only OEM to put a system in place where you are allowed to remove your hands from the steering wheel while driving. Where is the cross country autonomous drive Elon said would come in late 2016? We are 2019 now, and the latest news is from Electrek... https://electrek.co/2019/01/09/tesla...s-regulations/
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Old 01-14-2019, 10:58 AM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by Tom-ETRON View Post
I think you are right, SOTA is going to be a big part of OEM's new platforms. I am familiar with Tesla increasing performance, only a couple times with software, hence the reason I stated Tesla "often" uses their OTA capability for bug fixes. "Often" is not a statement of definite fact. As for the E-Tron being a boat anchor, I think you are being a bit overly dramatic. For folks like you VW ID cars will have an updated systems architecture and will be able to do most functionality OTA, as will Cadillac's upcoming BEV products. For now, there are several great EV's available for people, and as with anything it is not one size fits all... For instance I would rather buy I-Pace then E-tron because the car is more sporty, and fun, but you want to talk about buggy infotainment... for my family E-Tron just makes more sense rationally, as having kids in car seats means maximum interior room is needed. I also like where Audi is pushing the tech on the brake by wire, so my wife can drive the car just as efficiently as I do, although we go about regen braking in different ways. Charging though is the clincher, Tesla Model X is 50% slower charging than E-Tron on a road trip (repeated 20-80%), and the Electrify America network in the area I live will have great coverage in the areas we would take a road trip.
Maybe a little over-dramatic but not in the longer term ~3-5yrs down the road. It's not apparent yet because there is really only one auto manufacturer doing it today, but when you can take your pick of 5 or 6 luxury EV SUV's, and all but one or two come with the convenience of OTA updates it will be painfully obvious. I understand there are many factors that go into a buying decision - for me I live in the mountains, good AWD and higher ground clearance is required, and I'm an Audi guy, really like their styling and luxury, without being snooty. From what I have seen, I love the size, styling, and adjustable suspension/ground clearance of the e-tron. I really want to love the e-tron and am seriously considering it for my next vehicle although am concerned about 2 major deal breakers: range and OTA updates. Range will likely be improved each MY. This will accelerate depreciation of previous model years. Which is another reason why you really need OTA updates, especially for a high dollar purchase / luxury class vehicle where the depreciation rate is already very high. However OTA updates, if not architected from the beginning, is a much bigger lift. It speaks volumes about a companies desire/ability to transform digitally. It is not an exaggeration that entire industries are being upended in a 3-7yr timespan (sometimes shorter, sometimes longer) by this digital transformation. I do not want to buy the Blu-ray of EVs and be stuck with it for 5yrs... or take a bath on an $80K purchase. Where we are at right now, being on the early side of a new paradigm in the EV auto industry, even a gas auto with OTA updates is probably the best from an investment/re-sale perspective. And I think many manufacturers are running towards that as quickly as they can. Like it or not, every company is a SW company now.
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Old 01-14-2019, 11:14 AM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by Tom-ETRON View Post
Again, If SOTA was all the rage, and 17 M cars were sold in the USA last year and only 1% had capability, hmmm I am not seeing your point. I think you are confusing your feelings for the general market. Toyota infotainment is bad, but very few complain. GM infotainment is bad, again, no doom and gloom, CEO just announced profit in 2018 exceeded expectations, and 2019 is looking even better. Jaguar I-Pace infotainment is a great concept, but very poorly executed, and buggy as all get out.
I bet you would be surprised at how many major auto manufacturers are trying to get OTA updates as quickly as they can. They can't, that's the fundamental point. I attribute any positive results from GM as a byproduct of the economy, which will wash out eventually. Same reason Blockbuster died, history will repeat itself again. I have given up long ago buying a car based on it's infotainment system - the auto manufacturers collectively lost that battle to the mobile device years ago. All I care about now is which one has the best integration/API to my phone, good sound, and a nice screen/cockpit layout. Unless it has direct relation to vehicle function, I don't really care about any of their logic, as it is always behind/obsolete.
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Old 01-14-2019, 12:06 PM
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Originally Posted by sierraskier View Post
I bet you would be surprised at how many major auto manufacturers are trying to get OTA updates as quickly as they can. They can't, that's the fundamental point. I attribute any positive results from GM as a byproduct of the economy, which will wash out eventually. Same reason Blockbuster died, history will repeat itself again. I have given up long ago buying a car based on it's infotainment system - the auto manufacturers collectively lost that battle to the mobile device years ago. All I care about now is which one has the best integration/API to my phone, good sound, and a nice screen/cockpit layout. Unless it has direct relation to vehicle function, I don't really care about any of their logic, as it is always behind/obsolete.

I would not be surprised how many companies are working on OTA, I work in the auto industry. The large OEM's have to make sure they can do OTA safely before they roll it out to the fleet. VW will have full SOTA in 2019 ID cars, but not sure if they will allow access to the safety critical systems OTA. (Brakes, Airbags, Seatbelt pretensions) I think will remain a recall only item. I am pretty close to this discussion with other OEM's and have heard the security fears. GM will launch their SOTA in late 2020, and similarly will limit access to the safety systems, GM has played with SOTA using On-Star telematics with some success. Jaguar already has SOTA out in the I-Pace, but I heard it has been buggy.

GM profits currently are due to cutting their losses on vehicles that do not make $$, and investing big time in vehicles that do make money. Screw market share, and go for profit to fund the upcoming EV transition without having to borrow from investors. All of GM's main Truck and SUV plants are basically brand new after > $8 B spent over the last 3-4 years on new BIW lines, paint shops and revised final assembly. A couple of bad decisions that IMO GM made in the last few years are developing the Mid-Engined Corvette, and the Blackwing V8, two programs probable cost $2.5B to develop and represent just a small percentage of customers. The $550M they put into Cruise Automation was likely a better investment going forward, as now Honda, and Softbank have joined in on much larger scale investments. GM is still full of old thinking in some areas, so there are still internal support for Corvette, Nascar, and those kinds of things, but I think if they replaced the Corvette with a real performance EV, they would get more in return, and tech folks would have more faith in their future product prowess, driving up the share value for investors.
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Old 01-14-2019, 12:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Tom-ETRON View Post
I would not be surprised how many companies are working on OTA, I work in the auto industry. The large OEM's have to make sure they can do OTA safely before they roll it out to the fleet. VW will have full SOTA in 2019 ID cars, but not sure if they will allow access to the safety critical systems OTA. (Brakes, Airbags, Seatbelt pretensions) I think will remain a recall only item. I am pretty close to this discussion with other OEM's and have heard the security fears. GM will launch their SOTA in late 2020, and similarly will limit access to the safety systems, GM has played with SOTA using On-Star telematics with some success. Jaguar already has SOTA out in the I-Pace, but I heard it has been buggy.
So just to make sure I understand - you work in the auto industry, most (if not all) auto manufacturers are running towards OTA as fast as they can, but you don't view it as important?
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