audi strotbek.automotiveIT

Audi board member Strotbek predicted a big new push for in-car services once LTE starts (Photo: automotiveIT)

HANOVER ”“ Audi on Thursday reaffirmed its vision of ever more integration between the automotive and IT industries.

“We’re not just bringing the internet into the car, we’re bringing the car into the internet,” said Audi board member Axel Strotbek.

Speaking at the annual automotiveDAY conference during the CeBIT high-tech fair here, Strotbek said Audi customers want to have in-car access to data, entertainment and online content that they use in everyday life outside the car.

The Audi executive painted a picture of advanced Cloud-driven functions all accessible from inside the car.

Strotbek said Audi has taken major steps in recent years to narrow the gap between the long development cycles in the car industry and the much shorter cycles of the consumer entertainment sector. The carmaker, he said, is now able to quickly update both hardware and software components in the car because of its use of a new modular infotainment architecture.

Online services in the car are about to experience a major improvement with the arrival of the new, faster LTE mobile standard, Strotbek said. That will allow HD film streaming and in-car video conferencing, he said.

Strotbek said Audi’s introduction of new infotainment technologies doesn’t start with its top models. Citing the new A3, he said: “We’re bringing the newest technologies in the newest models and not necessarily top down. Every Audi is a premium product.”

Audi, a member of Germany's Volkswagen Group, unveiled its new A3 model at the Geneva auto show this week. The car, which was also on display at CeBIT, provides a range of examples of IT solutions based on Audi's modular infotainment platform, Strotbek said.

The automotiveDAY conference, which is organized by automotiveIT, features a range of industry speakers who are focusing this year on the central role of IT in boosting efficiency in the car industry.

In addition to Strotbek, speakers include BMW CIO Karl Probst, Mann + Hummel CIO Stefan Ihringer and Continental CIO Elsiabeth Hoeflich. Also on the agenda are addresses by Daimler CTO Peter Schneider and Lamborghini CIO Matthias Schlapp.

-By Arjen Bongard