Audi announced that T-Mobile USA will be the wireless carrier for the 2012 A7, bearing one of the highest tech audio/traffic and 3G/4G?/WiFi systems in a new vehicle, in our humble view.
The new Audi A7, due to arrive in April, comes with a SIM card and 6 months of free wireless service so you can connect to voice activated Google Earth, Google Local Search, and Sirius Traffic combined with Google Earth imagery, in what we can only call a “Google Car.”
Audi calls the system “Audi Connect.” It also creates a WiFi hotspot in the car so passengers can hop on the Internet. You also get real-time news, weather and fuel prices.
It’s the first U.S. auto with embedded 3G and 4G capability, if you don’t count autos with OnStar and similar telematics.
Later this summer, the system will appear in the 2012 A8, A6 and Q7. Future models such as Q5 Hybrid will also feature Audi Connect.
Audi of America president Johan de Nysschen wasn’t exaggerating when he said, “The launch of Audi Connect is part of a foundational strategy to help Audi lead with first-to-market, cutting-edge connected services.”
Remember, this is the same Audi who’s chairman Rupert Stadler said in January that Audis will soon include Nvidia Tegra 2 processors–the same processors used in the most advanced cellphones. During his keynote speech at the Consumer Electronics Show in January, Stadler also showed a futuristic heads up display with augmented reality.