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Audi’s Villinger: “Mobility should be effortless”

BERLIN — Audi wants to reduce the complexity of operating its vehicles as it aims to become a “premium digital car company,” the carmaker’s CDO, Roland Villinger, said Thursday.

The Volkswagen Group premium brand also wants to increase safety and provide more seamless connectivity.

“We want to make the lives of our customers simpler, safer and more mobile,” Villinger told the automotiveIT Congress here. “Mobility should be effortless.”

Reducing complexity means introducing multi-modal operating concepts that use voice, touch response and other controls. It also implies that Audi drivers can personalize their vehicles. And it introduces artificial intelligence that can proactively anticipate traffic situations and take over routine driving functions.

Villinger also said Audi is working to combine users’ digital and mobility ecosystems. “We have to combine them,” he said. “We have to have a seamless integration of various ecosystems.”

And he added: “The goal of future mobility cannot be a battle between different ecosystems.”

In the area of enhanced security, Villinger said cars need to have reliable online capability. And remote software updates need to be possible. He also cited online data analysis and car-to-x connectivity.

The Audi CDO said future Audis will offer the option to flexibly book additional premium functions in areas such as infotainment, engine performance and assistance systems.

And he said cars need to be better integrated in urban mobility environments.

Car retailing is a key pillar of Audi’s digitalization strategy, Villinger said, adding that the carmaker is working closely with its dealers on the implementation of new digital technologies in the sales process.

Said the Audi CDO: “Dealers are an integral part of our strategy to become a premium digital car company.”

-By Arjen Bongard