Will Audi Connect Really Become the Ultimate Mobility Device?

By Jon LeSage, con­tribut­ing edi­tor, Deal­er Digest Dai­ly

SITUATION:
• Audi and T-Mobile are rolling out their Audi Con­nect plan that gives dri­vers total WiFi access in their cars – to make their car the ulti­mate mobil­i­ty device.
• The plan is being pub­li­cized as cost­ing $15 a month through a 30-month con­tract with a $450 upfront pay­ment. Oth­er­wise they would be pay­ing $30 a month for a month-to-month plan. There’s also a six-month free tri­al pro­gram.
• It’s part of Audi’s plan of putting one mil­lion con­nect­ed Audi cars on the road world­wide by 2015 – and to enter the com­pe­ti­tion with oth­er automak­ers now offer­ing their own brand­ed con­nect­ed car sys­tems. “T-Mobile-pow­ered Audi con­nect ser­vice deliv­ers unmatched con­nec­tiv­i­ty to our cus­tomers at a rate that will turn their Audi into the ulti­mate mobile device,” said Anu­pam Mal­ho­tra, senior man­ag­er of con­nect­ed vehi­cle at Audi of Amer­i­ca

SIGNIFICANCE:
Audi has two com­mer­cials pro­mot­ing the new ser­vice – in one, a con­cerned mother’s ques­tions are all answered by the daugh­ter using Connect’s in-dash tool – weath­er con­di­tion, hav­ing enough gas, where she’ll eat din­ner. In the sec­ond com­mer­cial, a woman fran­ti­cal­ly scram­bles to take care of last-minute birth­day fes­tiv­i­ties for her boyfriend. She does pull over before using Con­nect, though.
• It will be inter­est­ing to see how well this does – dri­vers are get­ting many of their wire­less needs met with what they already have in their car and on their smart phone.
Get­ting own­ers to pay more for the month­ly ser­vice is very tricky. Sir­iusXM is work­ing with the major automak­ers through three-month free tri­al pro­grams and then sell­ing pro­grams that come out to about $15 a month but are sold through mul­ti-month flat rate pro­grams. How’s that going for Sir­iusXM?
• Automak­ers see these mobil­i­ty plat­form devices as a solu­tion for deliv­er­ing the info­tain­ment, con­nect­ed resources being demand­ed while also deal­ing with dis­tract­ed dri­ving. But will these dri­vers actu­al­ly pull over to use Audi Con­nect?

Source: eWeek

Click here to read more about Audi Con­nect, includ­ing two com­mer­cials that are pro­mot­ing the new ser­vice…

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