Audi Aicon ConceptEnlarge Photo
Starting with the e-tron electric SUV debuting on August 30, Audi cars will offer a new level of digitization enabling them to be upgraded with new services and features without costly hardware changes.
It's part of Audi's plan to reap in almost $1.2 billion in operating profit from digital products and other new business models by the year 2025, Audi CFO Alexander Seitz revealed Wednesday.
“We want to have premium electric cars and digital services that are also attractive in economic terms,” he said. “That is our clear ambition for the mobility of the future.”
2019 Audi e-tron prototypeEnlarge Photo
For example, in the e-tron, owners will be able to add new electronic driver aids to improve the safety of the vehicle or new infotainment features to enhance its functionality. And Audi plans to continually release new digital products over time, meaning you'll be able to keep your vehicle up to date much like your smartphone or laptop.
Audi is establishing a new division reporting directly to CEO Rupert Stadler to steer the planning, implementation and operation of digital products, raising them to the same level as the automaker's core business of building and selling cars.
For this purpose, Audi is also developing an integrated IT platform for digital products. Importantly, the platform will be compatible with models from other Volkswagen Group brands; this means for example that customers’ settings and content will be smoothly transferred between the group's vehicles.