The Audi A8 was chosen as the top vehicle in the Ultra-Luxury category. Among the factors considered were active safety features and distraction-free drive; connectivity focusing on comfort and convenience; and infotainment options offered in distraction-free manner, including music, video and Wi-Fi®.
«Drivers have reached a point in which they are looking for a vehicle that is safe and reliable, and can keep them connected while on the road, just as they are able to while in the office or in their homes,» says Mike Carrozzo, chief editor, Connected World. «And, as consumers, we also want to be connected in a distraction-free environment. The connected cars named as winners for 2012 are certainly providing these options, and so much more.»
With the Audi A8, Audi is the first company worldwide to feature factory-installed wireless internet, enabling the innovative infotainment system called Audi connect. Previously only available in the A6, A7, A8 and Q7, Audi connect is now available on all A4 and A5 models, making Audi the only brand worldwide to feature this level of integrated connectivity in the B segment.
T-Mobile USA, Inc. is the U.S. wireless carrier for Audi connect systems. Audi connect services are enabled with an enhanced, ruggedized T-Mobile® SIM card, which is included with the vehicle, allowing customers to simply sign up for a service plan at the time of vehicle sale or at any time during or after the six-month complimentary trial period. Prices for 3G service range from $25-$30/month. Audi turned to T-Mobile as the wireless provider because of its reliable, nationwide network, leadership in automotive telematics, and strong customer satisfaction record.
«Increasingly, we are seeing a dramatic shift in the way consumers interact with their automobiles,» said Stan Simpliciano, senior director of MVNO/M2M at T-Mobile USA. «The ability to connect and access real-time information from nearly anywhere represents an amazing enhancement to everyday experiences. We applaud the industry recognition of the high bar set with the Audi A8 with Audi connect and are proud of the innovation that we’ve achieved in collaboration with Audi.»
With Audi connect, the onboard MMI® Navigation system is enhanced with Google Earth™ maps and real-time SiriusXM Traffic information, for a true aerial view of the route. Audi connect also features real-time localized weather, news and live fuel prices; Google Local Search for detailed information about travel destinations, such as restaurant or hotel hours, pricing and customer reviews; the myAudi Destination feature, which allows registered users to log on to Google Maps™ from any location and download up to 50 destinations to the vehicle; and a rolling Wi-Fi hotspot, allowing up to eight Wi-Fi-enabled devices to simultaneously use the wireless connectivity. Audi connect is a pivotal first step towards a connected car future. Vehicles with Audi connect currently are the only broadband-connected cars in the world.
The Audi A8 also features the optional driver assistance package, which includes adaptive cruise control that keeps the A8 at a constant distance from the preceding vehicle, active lane assist, and dynamic steering. Dynamic steering varies the effort as well as the steering ratio, while active lane assist helps the vehicle maintain lane discipline should the driver begin to sway outside of the lane markings without setting the turn signal. The Audi A8 also features Audi Night Vision Assistant with pedestrian detection that can warn the driver of oncoming pedestrians up to 1,000 feet away.
To learn more about the Audi A8, please visit audiusanews.com.
To learn more about the Connected Car of the Year, please visit www.connectedworldmag.com/ccoy