At CES Asia, Asia's largest tech event, in his keynote delivery speech, Thomas Owsianski, President of Audi China since 2018, has unveiled the company's plans to transform itself from a purely driving experience to a digital adventure.
The main reason behind this novel idea is pure and simple: traffic.
Globally speaking, the average time their customers spend in their cars in traffic is one hour; but in China, it doubles to two hours.
Instead of having its passengers bored or angered by sitting in gridlocked traffic, Audi wants to provide a new experience for them. The company wants to change the experience to a positive one where the drivers can in fact derive pleasure from being stuck in a traffic jam.
Audi's plan is to relax its drivers instead of have them stewing in a rut.
The company is focusing on autonomous driving technology.
This is especially tricky in China due to the sheer size and populatoin of its cities. However, not impossible. As Thomas reminded us of Audrey Hepburn's quote: "Nothing is impossible, I'm possible."
Four pillars of digital adventure
Here is what Audi is proposing as its four different pillars of digital adventure:
1) The Audi Connect: This new generation of Audi Connect has ameliorated our online apps and devices for in-car usage. For example, one of the online platforms will allow drivers to pay their gas bill online, right there seated in their car.
Killing two birds with one stone will allow the drivers to not feel they are wasting their time.
2) Vehicle-to-everything: V2X is a pillar to improve traffic flow and safety. V2X looks to incorporate traffic light information into its system, so that drivers are aware of what is upcoming.
The choice of having the machine speak to you will be an option, creating safer driver spaces, and better traffic flow is the goal.
3) Holoride: The pure aim of Holoride is to make passengers enjoy their ride fully. It transforms the ride into hyper-immersive experiences as it combines real time car data and XR in one. It is highly adaptive, fun, and safe.
So far two VRs exist: Dive Drive (a deep sea experience) and Cosmic Chase (one in space).
4) Audi AI-ME: Think, plants inside of a car, in a beautifully designed way, and you have the AI-ME.
Combining stunning design and innovation, the AI-ME aims to create a visually pleasing environment to drive in, as well as one that is calming, and good for the environment.
As Thomas wrapped up his speech, he pointed out that Audi China is moving forward with the times, and it's not merely about driving a car anymore.