Audi tries to reinvent the car phone by offering 4G LTE data plans through AT&T

Initially offered on their 2015 A3 sedan, Audi will now sell you $99 will get you 5 GB spread out over 6 months or 30 GB spread out over 30 months for $499. Why? Well who doesn’t like to know that the person 5 inches off your rear bumper is catching up on their RSS feeds? In all seriousness, Audi’s Audi Connect system is designed to act as a smartphone and will interface with the user’s smartphone to lessen driving distractions, though Facebook and Twitter integration is standard.

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How does this lessen distractions? On the satnav end, Audi’s system uses realtime traffic information from state and municipal DOTs to avoid traffic delays and, in conjunction with participating parking companies, will allow the user to navigate to a carpark that is virtually guaranteed to have space in it. While incorporation of this information into navigation applications, it is somewhat new for a standalone system in a car; the system will of course act as a virtual concierge. At the end of the day, this should theoretically lessen the amount of time spent staring at one’s smartphone while being lost in the urban jungle. It may not be great for Darwin’s theory of evolution, but it is great for insurance companies and those selling bandwidth.

As Audi rolls out newer models or refreshed versions of existing models, Audi Connect will be an option on these vehicles. For more information, check out the press release after the jump.

-By: Sawyer Sutton

Audi and AT&T announce pricing for first ever in-vehicle 4G LTE connectivity 

• Audi and AT&T will offer two data plan options: a 5GB/ 6-month plan for $99 and a 30 GB/ 30-month plan for $499 (best value). 
• All Audi A3 sedans equipped with Audi connect® will receive a free six-month trial period.
• First-ever 4G LTE service launches with new Audi connect® system in all-new 2015 A3 sedan

Audi of America and AT&T announced new data plans for the all-new 2015 A3 sedan, which debuts this month, and will enable the first-ever in-vehicle 4G LTE data connection in North America. The data plans will be competitively priced, starting at $99 for a 6-month plan and $499 for a 30-month plan. “Having the choice of two data plans gives the consumer the opportunity to choose a contract that works best for their lifestyle and allows them to maintain connectivity in the vehicle for an extended period of time,” said Scott Keogh, President, Audi of America. “The new AT&T data plans with 4G LTE connectivity will allow Audi drivers to enjoy seamless navigation, streaming and high-speed access to the Internet.”Audi and AT&T will offer two limited data plans: a 6-month plan with 5 Gigabytes of data and a 30- month plan with 30 GB. All Audi A3 sedans equipped with Audi connect® will receive a free six-month trial period. Previous experience with 3G+ Audi connect owners has shown they prefer either a 6-month or a 30-month term, which are designed to accommodate the consumer’s typical usage. The plans are based off typical usage in a vehicle. Customers can be sent e-mail alerts if they near the data plan limit. 

As previously announced, this summer Audi will become the first automaker to offer a Mobile Share data plan option to AT&T wireless customers who would like to add their vehicle to their existing Mobile Share plan. 

Audi plans to roll out 4G LTE capability across its entire lineup as new or refreshed models come to market. AT&T has the nation’s most reliable 4G LTE network.* AT&T was named America’s fastest 4G LTE network in PC Magazine’s 2013 Fastest Mobile Networks 30-market study, and also swept the top rankings in all six U.S. regions from coast to coast: Northeast, Southeast, North-Central, South-Central, Northwest and Southwest.

The new A3 family will feature the most advanced version of Audi connect, including picture navigation, read-aloud news headlines, Facebook and Twitter alerts, access to more than 7,000 Web radio stations, personalized RSS news feeds, and more.

An accompanying mobile app will allow advanced functionality between the MMI system and smartphones, reducing the need for Audi motorists to handle their devices when accessing some smartphone-based features.

Sawyer Sutton

Sawyer Sutton is a long-time Vermonter and lover of cars, big machinery, and photography. These are his words on cars as Senior Editor of egmCarTech.

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