The company announced in a statement, “Audi is bringing the Google Android Auto and Apple CarPlay software platforms into cars. Major functions will be integrated into the Audi Multi Media Interface (MMI) in the future.”
Referring to CarPlay integration in particular, Audi says it is taking place through “intensive dialog between the Audi development lab in Silicon Valley and Apple.”
CarPlay offers Siri voice control and works with the car’s controls, including knobs, buttons, and touchscreens. Certain apps have been retooled for driving scenarios so that users can keep their hands on the wheel and their eyes on the road. These include Beats Music, iHeartRadio, At Bat, Spotify, Stitcher, and Apples own Podcasts.
Using Siri, drivers can place and take calls, listen to voicemail, read and send messages, play their favorite music, and more.
“Our customers want to be ‘always on’ and use the services they know from their smartphones in cars as well.”Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg
Upon launch (in fall 2013), CarPlay was officially supported by Ferrari, Honda, Hyundai, Mercedes-Benz, and Volvo. At the time, Apple also announced commitment from BMW, Chevrolet, Citroen, Jaguar, Land Rover, KIA, Mitsubishi, Suzuki, Opel, Subaru, Peugeot, and others.
Audi touts user friendliness and low distraction as key parameters for integrating Apple’s infotainment system, adding that security is also vital in this new transition. By separating the vehicle-related functions from the infotainment features, Audi says it will add a new layer of security by thwarting unauthorized access to car functions.
As a result of the CarPlay integration, drivers will be able to limit the use of data generated in the vehicle by others. In a nutshell, the driver will have to give his express consent to let others use it.
Professor Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg, Board Member for Technical Development at AUDI AG, said, “Our customers want to be ‘always on’ and use the services they know from their smartphones in cars as well”.
“In this regard, we are working closely with leading companies like Google and Apple. In the future, customers will be able to use the functions available to them on their smartphones via the operating systems in their cars as well”, added Professor Hackenberg.
Customers will be able to choose at any time which of these platforms they wish to use in their cars — Audi
Audi believes that putting the most widespread smartphone platforms into the Audi MMI (multi-media interface) enables optimum integration.