Volkswagen AG’s flagship brand Audi announced that it will bring wireless connectivity to almost all of its 2016 models. It has enlisted the help of AT&T for this endeavor.
In a joint statement released on Tuesday, the German luxury brand and the telecommunications company said that they have agreed to deliver 4G LTE or 3G coverage to all 2016 model-year Audi vehicles equipped with the automaker’ connect infotainment system. This means nearly all 2016 Audi models will have wireless connectivity. The connected Audi models are the following: the A3, A4, A5, A6, A7, A8, allroad, Q3, Q5, RS7, S3, S4, S5, S6, S7, S8, SQ5, TT and TTS.
The only 2016 model that will not feature Audi connect is the current-generation R8 sports car, according to Audi corporate communications manager Brad Stertz. The next-generation R8, a 2017 model scheduled to arrive in early 2016, will come with 4G LTE.
The 2016 models that have Audi connect will come with an AT&T SIM card that will provide the vehicle wireless connectivity from the road. This SIM card will allow motorists access to traffic information and navigation, social media and mobile app integration and over 7,000 Web radio stations, just to name a few.
Among all the aforementioned 2016 connected Audi models, there are a few equipped with the most advanced version of the connect system with 4G LTE. These are the A6, A7 and TT nameplates. Thanks to the upgraded Audi connect, drivers of these models also have access to Google Earth, Google Street View, faster downloads and high-definition video streaming.
Audi and AT&T also offer a Mobile Share data plan option. This can be availed by Audi connect users who are also AT&T subscribers.
Audi is one of the first carmakers to bring high-speed internet to its vehicles, and AT&T helped make this possible. The Four Rings brand started offering its connect 3G service in 2011 and brought the very first in-vehicle 4G LTE in North America in 2014 with the 2015 A3 and S3 models.
General Motors Co. was a step ahead of Audi in rolling out 4G LTE in many of its models. The Detroit automaker made most of its 2015 models mobile Wi-Fi hotspots through its OnStar system. Chevrolet is currently the GM brand with the biggest 4G LTE vehicle lineup, as the service is available from the Spark city car to selected models of the Silverado pickup truck.