April 9, 2013
Audi of America is offering a new $15-per-month mobile data plan that will give drivers in-vehicle connectivity through a partnership with T-Mobile.
Audi Connect Service lets drivers access real-time news, weather and fuel prices; Google Earth and Google Voice Local Search; and other information over Wi-Fi through the in-car infotainment and navigation system. The automaker developed the price points for this service based on extensive research.
“This offer makes vehicle connectivity even more accessible with an unlimited data rate that is lower than anything else available,” said Brand Stertz, corporate communications manager at Audi of America, Herndon, VA.
“This connectivity enables Audi drivers to enjoy the conveniences of Google Earth, Google Voice and Google Local Search,” he said. “It also turns an Audi into the ultimate mobile hot spot for passengers with connectivity for up to eight devices.
“Audi remains the innovator in Wi-Fi enable cars.”
Through the new partnership with T-Mobile, Audi drivers and passengers can now easily stay connected.
Owners of vehicles with Audi Connect can pay $450 at anytime to receive full data services for 30 months. This equals $15 per month or less, following the six-month free trial period that is included at purchase.
Customers can also choose to pay $30 per month for a month-to-month service plan.
To push this new plan, Audi created two commercials to show off the service in use.
The first video titled “Beach Day” shows a woman getting in her car to go to the beach when her mother calls and asks her multiple questions about her preparations for her day.
The daughter is able to answer quickly, make plans and locate places nearby because of her Audi Connect System in her SUV.
The second video titled “The Surprise” shows a woman driving who calls her boyfriend to figure out dinner plans for the evening. He reminds her that it is his birthday, so she immediately pulls over to figure out the plans.
The woman uses her Audi Connect System to order a cake from a nearby bakery and then find a scenic location to enjoy it in with her boyfriend.
Even with all of the capabilities of the system, Audi is still promoting safety and says that the features will not distract the driver.
“The capabilities provided through the Audi connect system to the driver are specifically tailored to avoid distractions and only allow information drivers need most to complete their primary task,” Mr. Stertz said.
Audi Connect was originally developed in 2011 in partnership with T-Mobile, making the automaker the first global auto manufacturer to offer factory-fitted in-vehicle Wi-Fi connectivity.
However, the new pricing offers will help get consumers on board.
Audi and T-Mobile worked to develop the pricing plan based on research and feedback from Audi dealers and customers.
With this offer, the automaker has set a goal of having one million connected Audi vehicles on the road worldwide by 2015.
“T-Mobile has been the exclusive broadband partner since Audi Connect was introduced in 2011 as the first high-speed mobile broadband connected vehicle service,” Mr. Stertz said.
“Through customer research and dealer feedback, we have found a sweet-spot combination of service length and price with T-Mobile,” he said.
“The new pricing package provides savings of 40-50 percent over the course of three years, compared to other Audi Connect plans and even high savings compared to typical mobile wireless hotspot data plans.”
Erin Shea, editorial assistant on Luxury Daily, New York