Inserting an LTE-enabled SIM card into the Audi's MMI navigation will make the S3 a WLAN hotspot that can quickly shuffle high-definition content from the cloud to the cockpit. It will also bolster Audi Connect services like Google Earth, Facebook and Twitter, e-mail, and streaming internet radio.
We've been told that we'll be offered the LTE option when the 2015 A3 sedan gets here in the spring of 2014. Since the service requires you to provide a SIM card, we expect that costs and data caps will be a matter between you and the service provider; speaking of which, Audi hasn't announced yet who that provider will be on this side of the Atlantic. The press release below has more details.
Audi brings the new LTE standard to the car
- Debut this summer in the Audi S3 Sportback
- WLAN hotspot and tailored Audi connect services
Ingolstadt, 2013-07-29 - Audi is the first carmaker to bring the fast LTE data transfer standard to the car with full integration. It can be ordered as an option in the Audi S3 Sportback from July, and in all other model variants of the premium compact from early November. LTE technology is very important for Audi connect, the networking of the car with the driver, the Internet and the environment.
The new LTE (Long Term Evolution) standard takes mobile Internet to a new dimension. LTE enables the exchange of large amounts of data via the Internet, such as music and films in HD quality. Commercial LTE networks already exist in many European countries and in the USA. In Germany, LTE is available in a few large cities, but is primarily active in many rural areas. The standard is expected to be available everywhere by the end of 2014.
To use LTE, a suitable SIM card with a data flat rate simply needs to be inserted into the appropriate slot in the MMI navigation plus unit in the Audi S3 Sportback. When the passengers connect their mobile end devices to the WLAN hotspot integrated into the car, they can surf the web independently of one another. For example, one passenger can participate in a video conference while another watches a video.
The MMI navigation plus uses LTE to deliver the tailored services of Audi connect to the driver – from navigation with Google Earth and Google Street View to Audi music stream web radio and online traffic information. The community services Facebook and Twitter have also been made vehicle-friendly with a text-to-speech function and a text function with prepared text modules. In addition, there are over a dozen Audi connect services, including a text-to-speech function for e-mail and a dictation function for text messages (SMS). And the range of services is expanding rapidly.
LTE technology can be ordered for the Audi S3 Sportback from July, and for all other variants of the A3 family from November. Audi connect is the keyword for the brand's intensive efforts to continuously develop new networking solutions. New technologies are increasingly making cars with the four rings more of an experiential space. The LTE standard is expected to provide a strong boost to the seamless use of media stored on a server on the Internet (data in the cloud). Audi is also a major driving force behind the networking with other automobiles and the transport infrastructure (car-to-X-communication).