Audi took a step toward offering over-the-air options a la carte by making navigation-on-demand available on four of its 2021 models. It also announced that it could send an additional lighting package to some variants of the E-Tron.
This feature, called Function on Demand, will be inaugurated by the 2021 A4, 2021 A5, 2021 Q5 and 2021 Q5 Sportback. The potential extends well beyond navigation and connectivity, but the original offering is limited to the company’s MMI navigation and Connect Plus with Full-Speed Wi-Fi technologies, in part because they are very popular options.
Drivers can add navigation and a Wi-Fi connection to a car they have not sold via the MyAudi app. They can subscribe to both features for $ 84.99 per month or pay $ 849.99 for a 12-month subscription. Audi predicts that monthly customers will be the ones who need navigation and connectivity for a one-off occasion, such as a road trip. Annual subscribers are those who buy or lease a used car without either feature. Autoblog found that both plans include unlimited Wi-Fi for up to eight compatible devices. Connected services, such as parking information, are also part of the bundle.
The so-called Light Function Package, the wireless bundle of the E-Tron, is somewhat simpler. It is available on Premium variants of the E-Tron and E-Tron Sportback, costs $ 259.99 and is active for the life of the car. Owners using the MyAudi app to order it will receive turn signals, dynamic cornering lights and maneuvering lights via a wireless software update. These features are standard on the Premium Plus and Prestige models.
It will be interesting to see if drivers are as excited about paying for on-demand features for their car as they are about adding features to their mobile devices. If the customer response is favorable, it is reasonable to assume that the list of wireless options available to motorists will grow in the coming years, for better or for worse.