Audi launches myCarManager and myService Online services for Q7 and A4 customers

Article by Christian Andrei, on September 24, 2015

Audi is redefining the meaning of connected premium vehicles by offering two new Online services and a new version of its Audi MMI connect” smartphone app. The new connect offerings “myCarManager” and “myService” are aimed at improving convenience and security and are included in the latest version of the “Audi MMI connect” smartphone app.

These new services and the updated app are now available for the Audi Q7 as well as for the new A4 model line. myCarManager allows users to use their compatible smartphones or smartwatches to perform certain functions of their Q7s or A4s like operating the available auxiliary heating or locking and unlocking of the doors.

Customers can also check the parking location of the cars and the length of time the vehicles have been parked. Likewise, myCarManager allows customers to view an up-to-date status report of their Q7 or A4 on their smartphones.

This status report presents a number of up-to-date car information, like whether the windows and doors are opened or closed, and how full the car’s fuel tank is. Likewise, drivers can view the car’s operating range, engine oil level, service information and any warning messages.

Through the service’s Car Finder function, customers can find their Audis where it has been parked, which is very useful when they left their vehicle on a large lot. On the other hand, the “Auxiliary Heating” function enables customers to start or stop the optional auxiliary heating even if they are out of their cars.

They could choose between two different intensity levels and even access timer programming. Audi has made sure any communication sent from the vehicle to the car or vice versa is safe and secure. This has been made possible by installing a firewall of a secure Audi server in between the car and the smartphone.

For instance, the car sends the latest vehicle data to the Audi server. When customers ask for a status report, they are effectively accessing the data -- which is encrypted using the current TLS 1.2-standard -- from the service with their smartphone.

Tight security rules are implemented when customers want to lock or unlock the doors using their smartphone, as additional authentication is conducted between the Audi server and the car before the action is performed.

With this security feature, any unauthorized third-party server would not be able to make the Audi car perform a certain function. Customers are required to use an extra PIN on their smartphone for the remote action to be performed.

The extra PIN is selected by customers in the myAudi portal. Customers could also grant access to the online service to as many as five people and manage up to five different Audi vehicles from a single account.

Meanwhile, the other new Online offering, myService, allows customers to make an automatic emergency call or an Audi service request and request for online roadside assistance. When an Audi gets into an accident and a restraint system – like an airbag -- has been triggered, the emergency call is activated automatically.

With this feature, the vehicle car sets up a voice and data connection with the Audi Emergency Call Center and sends important data like GPS coordinates, number of occupants and direction of travel.

Through a voice communication, a trained service employee will try to obtain more details from the driver and passengers -- in their native language – so the most appropriate assistance can be arranged as soon as possible.

If the driver or passengers cannot be contacted through voice communication, the service employee will contact the rescue coordination center, which in turn will send an emergency ambulance to the accident scene immediately.

Additionally, the emergency call can be manually activated through a switch in the roof module. Customers do not have to worry even if the car’s power supply has failed during an accident, since the control unit could still establish a voice connection with the Audi Service Center.

On the other hand, when MyService activates a roadside assistance call, the car’s position and relevant data will be sent automatically to Audi Service Center. As for the Audi service request function, the car will send service-related data to the customer’s preferred service partner – specified earlier in the myAudi portal -- two weeks before servicing is due.

Once they receive the data, the service partner will then contact the customer to arrange their next service call. Interestingly, the data and voice connection for the services is created through mobile communications module with a built-in SIM card. However, this module is different from those typically used for daily mobile communications.

These services are free in Germany and most European countries for ten years from the car’s date of delivery. The updated version of the Audi MMI connect app can be downloaded in the myAudi portal and on the Apple and Google store platforms at no extra cost.

All Audi Q7 and A4 customers could avail of the optional Audi connect safety & service equipment package for EUR250, which includes the costs related to data and voice connections. Likewise, the package includes the two buttons in the roof module for emergency and roadside assistance calls.

Press Release

Secure and convenient: the new Audi connect services

Audi is broadening its range of online services. The new Audi connect offerings myCarManager and myService allow the customer to control specific functions remotely by smartphone or arrange a service appointment online, for example. The new services bring enhanced convenience and security, and are available immediately for the Audi Q7 and the new A4 model line.
The latest version of the “Audi MMI connect” smartphone app now also includes vehicle-specific services such as myCarManager. Owners of the new Q7 and A4 can use their smartphones to lock and unlock the doors, operate the optional auxiliary heating and view an up-to-date status report of their car. They can also check where the car is currently parked and how long it has been there. The app can now also be operated using an Apple smartwatch.

The details of the individual functions reveal their wide-ranging advantages: The status report enables the owner to call up various up-to-date car information on their mobile phone. This includes the status of the windows and doors (i.e. open/closed), the distance reading, the fuel level in the tank and the car’s operating range, service information, engine oil level and any warning messages. The Car Finder function comes into its own when the car is left parked in a city: With its help, the driver can be guided straight back to their Audi. They can also see how long the car has been parked in its current location. The “Auxiliary Heating” menu item allows remote starting and stopping of the optional auxiliary heating, selection of two different intensity levels and timer programming.

For the new services, Audi attaches maximum importance to data security. Communication never passes directly between the smartphone and the car; there is always the firewall of a secure Audi server in between. The system responds in a variety of ways depending on the type of query. For the status report, the car sends the current data to the Audi server, where the customer can access it at any time using their smartphone. The data is encrypted using the current TLS 1.2‑standard. Strict security rules likewise apply to the locking and unlocking of the doors: Additional authentication takes place between the Audi server and the car before the action is performed. Conversely, this means the car would not respond to a command from an unauthorized third-party server.

An extra PIN must be input via the smartphone to enable the remote actions to be carried out. The customer chooses this PIN themselves in the myAudi portal. They can also grant access rights to a maximum of five people and manage up to five different automobiles from a single account.

As well as myCarManager, there are also the new myService features: They comprise the emergency call, online roadside assistance and Audi service request. The emergency call is activated automatically after an accident if a restraint system such as an airbag has been triggered. The car establishes a voice and data connection with the Audi Emergency Call Center and supplies important data such as the GPS coordinates, direction of travel and number of occupants. Over a voice connection, a specially trained service employee attempts to obtain further details from the driver and passengers in their native language so that arrangements for the best form of assistance can be set in motion without delay. If the accident victims are not capable of voice communication, the service employee contacts the rescue coordination center which dispatches an emergency ambulance to the accident scene straight away. The driver or front passenger can also activate the emergency call manually using a switch in the roof module. The control unit fitted remains capable of establishing a voice connection with the Audi Service Center even if the car’s power supply has failed. When a roadside assistance call comes in, the Audi Service Center is again sent the position and the relevant data on the car’s status automatically.

With the Audi service request function, two weeks before servicing is due the car sends service-related data to the service partner. This is the partner that the customer has previously specified in the myAudi portal. The workshop can now contact the customer to arrange their upcoming appointment.

There is no extra charge for the services in Germany and most European countries for a period of ten years from the date of delivery.

The optional Audi connect safety & service equipment package is available with immediate effect for all new Audi Q7 and A4 models at a one-off price of EUR 250.

The new version of the Audi MMI connect app is available to download free of charge in the online portal myAudi and on the Apple and Google store platforms.

The data and voice connection for the services is established via a mobile communications module with built-in SIM card; this module is quite distinct from the one used for everyday mobile communications by the customer. The costs arising for data and voice connections are included in the package price. Two buttons in the roof module for emergency and roadside assistance calls are also part of the package.

Topics: audi, technology

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