Audi took a step towards offering à la carte over-the-air options by making navigation-on-demand available on four of its 2021 models. It also announced it can beam an extra-cost lighting package to some variants of the E-Tron.
Called Function on Demand, the feature is being inaugurated by the 2021 A4, 2021 A5, 2021 Q5, and 2021 Q5 Sportback. Its potential extends far beyond navigation and connectivity, but the initial offering is limited to the firm’s MMI navigation and Connect Plus with Full-Speed Wi-Fi technologies, partly because they’re very popular options.
Drivers can add navigation and a Wi-Fi connection to a car not sold with either via the MyAudi app. They can subscribe to both features for $84.99 a month or pay $849.99 for a 12-month plan. Audi predicts monthly customers will be those who need navigation and connectivity for a one-time occasion, like a road trip. Annual subscribers will be the ones who buy or lease a used car without either feature. Autoblog learned that both plans include unlimited Wi-Fi for up to eight compatible devices. Connected services, like parking information, are part of the bundle, too.
Called Light Function Package, the E-Tron’s wireless bundle is a little more straightforward. It’s available on Premium variants of the E-Tron and E-Tron Sportback, it’s priced at $259.99, and it’s active for the life of the car. Owners who use the MyAudi app to order it receive turning lights, dynamic cornering lights, and maneuvering lights via an over-the-air software update. These features come standard on the Premium Plus and Prestige models.
It will be interesting to watch whether drivers are as enthusiastic about paying for on-demand features for their car as they are about adding features to their mobile devices. If customer response is favorable, it’s reasonable to assume the list of wireless options available to motorists will grow in the coming years, for better or worse.