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.