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Technology Lexicon
Last updated: March 2017
Overview of sections
Driver assistance systems
Drive system
User operation
Model-specific deviations are possible. Subject to change without notice; errors and omissions
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A high level of comfort and exciting dynamics – Audi combines these traits in its models
using intelligent and extremely complex chassis technologies. In many cases, drivers can
individually control the tuning of their cars.
Adaptive air suspension
The adaptive air suspension – an air suspension system with controlled damping – offers
a wide range between smooth cruising and sporty handling. It also enables level control.
The system is designed differently for the different individual product lines. In the front
suspension struts, air springs enclose the shock absorbers; these two components are
implemented separately in the rear suspension. In the Audi A8, air suspension struts are also
mounted at the rear suspension. The central chassis control unit (electronic chassis platform)
individually controls the shock absorbers at each wheel at cycles on the order of milliseconds –
according to the road composition, driver’s style and the mode set in the Audi drive select
handling system. Solenoid damper valves vary the volumetric flow of the hydraulic fluid. The
mounting orientation of the compressor and the number of pressure reservoirs to be filled
differ, depending on the model. In the Audi Q7, for example, an air volume of 10.1 liters is
distributed to two pressure reservoirs; in the Audi Q5, 7.2 liters of air is distributed to one
pressure reservoir. In the Audi A6, the compressor fills 4.3 liters of air into one pressure
The adaptive air suspension controls the height of the body at different levels according to
the driving speed and the driver’s preference. In the Audi Q5, for example, the adaptive air
suspension lowers the body 22 mm (0.9 in) compared to the steel suspension. The system sets
the ideal body position for every driving situation. In the lift/offroad mode of Audi drive select
(up to 35 km/h (21.7 mph) speed), the body is 45 mm (1.8 in) higher than the normal level; in
allroad mode (up to 80 km/h (49.7 mph)) it is still 25 mm (1.0 in) higher. In the dynamic mode,
the body is lowered 15 mm (0.6 in). In the other modes, this lowering automatically begins at
a driving speed of around 120 km/h (74.6 mph). This increases driving stability and improves
aerodynamics. For convenient loading, the rear body can be lowered 55 mm (2.2 in) by pushing
a button in the luggage compartment.
Adaptive dampers / suspension with adaptive damper control
In the suspension with damper control, sensors measure the movements of all four wheels as
well as the vehicle’s lateral and longitudinal acceleration. The damping characteristic is then
adjusted for road surface conditions and the driving situation. This results in enhanced driving
dynamics with even more comfort. Furthermore, the driver can choose the default suspension
setting in the Audi drive select system at the push of a button and thus call up the desired
handling characteristics at any time.
You can find animations on the individual technologies in the Audi Technology Portal at
Media Center
The chassis control system works with newly developed CDC dampers (CDC = continuous
damping control). The pistons contain solenoid valves that offer very energy-efficient control.
They allow hydraulic fluid to flow faster or slower as required. The central chassis control unit,
the electronic chassis platform, processes all sensor signals within milliseconds and controls
each damper individually. Together with the wide control range of the damper valves, this
produces a broad spectrum of responses ranging from a soft ride to tight handling.
Audi drive select
The Audi drive select handling system lets drivers experience different types of vehicle tuning
in one vehicle. In addition, drivers can change the character of their cars by choosing one of the
modes auto, comfort, dynamic or efficiency – from an emphasis on comfort to exceptionally
dynamic handling or enhanced fuel efficiency. In the “individual” mode, drivers can also set the
vehicle tuning according to their personal preferences. For example, a sporty engine setting
might be combined with smooth steering. The Q and allroad models also have the allroad mode
(only with air suspension) and offroad mode.
Audi drive select influences the engine characteristic and steering. Optional equipment features
may extend the number of tuning parameters (depending on the model). They are
The automatic transmission
Cruise control system or adaptive cruise control (ACC)
Dynamic steering
Sport differential
quattro drive
Air suspension
Electromechanical active roll stabilization (exclusively in the SQ7)
Matrix LED headlights
Ambient lighting
Automatic climate control, and
Suspension with damper control
In the RS models, the system also controls the exhaust flaps. Audi drive select is operated via
the MMI system and, depending on the model, one or two buttons on the center console.
Dynamic steering
Dynamic steering varies the steering ratio by up to 100 percent based on the driving speed,
steering angle and selected mode in the Audi drive select handling system. The central
component is superimposition gearing in the steering column, which is driven by an electric
motor. Known as strain wave gearing, its construction is compact, lightweight and torsionally
rigid. It is free of play, precise and exhibits low friction. The gearing can transmit tremendous
torques extremely rapidly and achieves a high level of efficiency.
You can find animations on the individual technologies in the Audi Technology Portal at
Media Center
The strain wave gearing performs its task with just three key components. An electric motor
turns an elliptical internal rotor, which deforms a thin-walled sun wheel via a ball bearing, which
is connected to the steering input shaft. At the vertical axes of the ellipse it meshes with a
hollow wheel that has a sprocket and acts on the steering output shaft. When the internal
rotor turns, the large axis of the ellipse shifts, which brings it into the tooth engagement zone.
Because the sun wheel has fewer teeth than the hollow wheel, the two exhibit a relative motion
to one another – they are superimposed. The large gear ratio of the fast-running electric motor
makes it possible to build up this ratio quickly and precisely.
At low driving speeds – in city traffic and in maneuvering – the dynamic steering operates very
directly; all it takes is two full turns of the steering wheel to travel from end stop to end stop.
The power steering boost is also high, making parking maneuvers very easy. On country roads,
the directness of the steering response and steering power assist are reduced progressively.
At fast expressway speeds, indirect gear ratios and low power assist are used to smooth out
unsteady steering movements to enable impressive straight tracking.
Dynamic steering works closely with the electronic stabilization control program, ESC to
achieve sporty handling and driving safety. If necessary, it counter-steers slightly; its slight
interventions, most of which are unnoticeable to the driver, reduce understeer and oversteer
due to load alterations in the vast majority of situations. When braking on road surfaces with
split friction coefficients, the system helps by means of stabilizing steering interventions.
Dynamic steering takes less time for its corrections than the brake system needs to build up
pressure at the wheels. In many situations, it handles the primary work – brake interventions
either become unnecessary or they just serve a dampening function that reduces driving speed.
The advantages in terms of driving safety and sportiness are especially noticeable at high speeds
and on slippery surfaces such as snow.
Progressive steering
The electromechanical progressive steering increases both driving dynamics and ride comfort.
It is used in models built using the modular transverse matrix. Depending on the steering angle,
its specially-toothed steering rack provides different steering ratios. When driving straight
ahead and making only small steering movements, the ratio is at its biggest and steering is thus
somewhat less direct around the central position. When the steering angle is increased, the
ratio is reduced and thus the steering becomes more direct. This is particularly apparent from
the reduced steering effort required when parking or driving in city traffic. On winding out-oftown roads, the car can be driven both agilely and precisely with little steering input. Here, the
progressive steering delivers sporty handling. Furthermore, the steering assistance it provides is
adapted to the vehicle’s speed. This ensures excellent steering characteristics to suit any driving
situation. The Audi drive select driving dynamics system allows you to vary the setup of the
steering between the available modes auto, comfort and dynamic.
You can find animations on the individual technologies in the Audi Technology Portal at
Media Center
Sport differential
The sport differential provides for better driving dynamics, traction and stability. The sport
differential actively distributes drive torque between the rear wheels, adding a self-locking
center differential to the quattro drive. In addition to integrating the features of a conventional
differential, it also integrates multi-plate clutches with electro-hydraulic actuation. The multiplate clutches are operated by the hydraulic control unit. An electric motor drives the highperformance oil pump, which generates the required hydraulic pressure. When the clutch closes,
it variably imposes a higher speed on the superposition gear for the relevant wheel. When it is
forced to turn faster, the extra torque required for this is taken – via the differential – from the
wheel across from it on the inside of the curve. Nearly the entire torque could be directed to one
wheel in this way.
The differential can distribute the torque between the left and right wheels in all operating
states, including in overrun. When turning into or accelerating in a curve, most of the torque is
directed to the outside wheel. The sport differential literally pushes the car into the curve, which
eliminates even the onset of understeer. It ensures stable and precise response to steering
inputs, which in turn leads to excellent agility. In case of oversteer, the sport differential
stabilizes the vehicle by shifting torque to the wheel on the inside of the curve.
The sport differential is controlled from the highly integrated chassis control unit (electronic
chassis platform), which assumes central control over other chassis control systems as well.
By bundling all relevant chassis functions into a central control unit, the developers achieved
optimal networking, tuning and coordination of functions. The software for the sport differential
constantly computes the distribution of torque at the rear axle that is ideal for driving dynamics.
This takes into account the steering angle, yaw angle, lateral acceleration and driving speed.
The customer can influence system characteristics by networking with Audi drive select.
Wheel-selective torque control
In the quattro drive (both permanent and the type with ultra technology) and in front-wheel
drive, wheel-selective torque control – a software function –acts as a partner to the driver.
Wheel-selective torque control is active on all types of road surfaces. In dynamic cornering, the
software function minimally brakes the front wheel on the inside of the curve (for front-wheel
drive) or both wheels on the inside of the curve (for quattro drive) before they experience slip.
These interventions are made even if the driver is not pressing the accelerator pedal at the time.
Due to the difference in propulsive forces, the car turns itself into the curve ever so slightly.
Turn-in behavior remains neutral longer, making handling even more precise, agile and stable.
You can find animations on the individual technologies in the Audi Technology Portal at
Media Center
As an alternative to analog dial instruments, Audi offers innovative displays that include
a fully digital instrument cluster with high-resolution, user-configurable graphics. Another
highlight: the head-up display directly in the driver’s field of view.
Audi virtual cockpit
The Audi virtual cockpit is a fully digital instrument cluster with a 12.3-inch TFT screen and a
resolution of 1,440 x 540 pixels. It displays exceptionally sharp and highly detailed graphics.
Working in the background is a high-performance Tegra 30 chip from Audi’s cooperation partner
The fully digital display enables a wide range of information to be presented clearly and directly
in the driver’s field of view. This includes the classic speed and rpm figures as well as navigation,
communication and entertainment information. Indicators are shown at fixed positions along the
lower border; they show the outside temperature, time and odometer readings as well as warning
and information symbols. The image is refreshed 60 times per second so that the virtual needle of
the tachometer tracks smoothly and very precisely. Scrolling operations in lists are based on a
physical model that considers such factors as inertia, elasticity and damping.
As with the DIS display in the analog instrument cluster, the driver operates the Audi virtual
cockpit from the multifunction steering wheel. He can switch between two different user views by
pressing the “View” button. In Infotainment mode, the display is dominated by a central window.
It creates a large stage for the navigation map or for lists in the phone, radio and audio areas. In
this case, the tachometer and speedometer are displayed as small dial instruments. In the classic
view, these instruments are approximately as large as analog instruments, and the center display
window is therefore smaller. The S models also have a sport mode, in which the tachometer is
located at the center. This is also the case for the RS screen, which is provided in addition to the
infotainment and classic views in the RS models. In this view, users can configure additional
instruments around the dominant tachometer which show such parameters as torque, power
output, tire pressure and g-forces. In keeping with MMI logic, the Audi virtual cockpit modifies
the color scheme of the display according to the base menu being used – orange for the Media
menu and green for the Phone menu, for instance.
Head-up display
The head-up display projects information relevant to the driver as symbols and numbers that
can be quickly perceived within the driver’s direct field of view, including navigation and warning
messages and data from assistance systems. The human eye perceives the information extremely
quickly – and there’s no need for drivers to refocus from their accustomed long-range view.
You can find animations on the individual technologies in the Audi Technology Portal at
Media Center
Audi offers two different systems. In the Audi A4, A5 and Q5, for example, the image is projected
onto the windshield. The information appears to hover around two meters (6.6 ft) in front of the
driver within a visual window measuring 200 x 80 mm (7.9 x 3.1 in). A TFT monitor with white
LED backlighting generates the color image. Two aspherical mirrors magnify and redirect the
image. The mirrors also compensate for any distortions due to the curvature of the windshield.
The driver can use the Audi MMI to specify which information should be shown in the head-up
display; the height and brightness can also be adjusted here.
In the Audi Q2, for instance, the head-up display projects the graphics and numbers onto a glass
panel. When the system is started, a 100 x 50 millimeter (3.9 x 2.0 in) panel extends upward
from the instrument panel behind the instrument cluster by electrical power. The height of the
panel can be adjusted to match the driver’s height when seated. The MMI is used to choose the
information to be displayed, such as navigation symbols or information about the assistance
You can find animations on the individual technologies in the Audi Technology Portal at
Media Center
Driver assistance systems
Audi assists drivers with a broad range of assistance systems – from turn and parking
assistants to the camera-based road sign recognition. They deliver more safety, convenience
and efficiency, and they pave the way for piloted driving.
Adaptive cruise control (with Stop&Go function)
Adaptive cruise control (ACC) offers relief to drivers especially on long trips and in stop-and-go
traffic. It maintains a preset distance to the vehicle ahead by automatically accelerating and
braking. The driver can choose from five distance levels and adjust acceleration and control
system dynamics with Audi drive select.
The system uses radar sensors and a front camera. They detect vehicles ahead and measure
the distance to them. In interplay with S tronic or tiptronic, the system covers the entire speed
range from 0 to 250 km/h (155.3 mph). With a manual transmission, it starts at 30 km/h
(18.6 mph). When the system is deactivated, the distance indicator shows the distance to the
car ahead and warns drivers when they are tailgating. Its operating speed range is 60 km/h
(37.3 mph) and above.
When combined with S tronic or tiptronic, ACC also includes the Stop&Go function. In heavy
traffic, it autonomously decelerates the car to a stop. After a brief stop, it automatically
resumes driving, following the vehicle ahead. After a longer stop, the driver must tap the
accelerator pedal or the control stalk on the steering column. In addition to the radar sensors
and front camera, ultrasonic sensors also monitor the vehicle’s immediate surroundings.
Audi active lane assist
Operating at speeds from 65 km/h (40.4 mph), Audi active lane assist helps the driver keep the
vehicle in the driving lane. A camera detects lane lines and the track that the car is following
between them. In this process, the camera can distinguish between yellow lines in construction
zones and standard white markings. If the car approaches a line without the turn signal being
activated, the system helps the driver to steer back into the lane by means of gentle but
noticeable interventions in the electromechanical power steering. In the MMI system, the driver
sets how early the control intervention should occur. In the case of an early steering intervention
point, the system guides the driver towards the middle of the lane by gentle, centering steering
interventions. With a late steering intervention point, Audi active lane assist does not intervene
until shortly before the detected lane marking might be crossed; then it gives a corrective
steering intervention in the proper direction. In addition, the driver may choose to be warned
by a vibration of the steering wheel when crossing detected lane markings.
You can find animations on the individual technologies in the Audi Technology Portal at
Media Center
Audi pre sense basic
Audi pre sense basic initiates preventive safety measures for occupants as soon as it recognizes
a critical driving state. It utilizes information from various vehicle systems to determine this. For
instance, it intervenes if the Electronic Stabilization Control (ESC) sensors detect skidding or hard
braking. Then the system pretensions the seat belts of the driver and front passenger electrically
to reduce their forward or lateral movements. The side windows and sliding sunroof are
automatically closed. In addition, the hazard warning lights are activated to alert following
Audi pre sense city
At speeds of up to 85 km/h (52.8 mph), the system scans the road for other vehicles and
pedestrians using a windshield-mounted front camera with a range of over 100 meters
(328.1 ft). If it detects an impending collision, it warns the driver based on a graduated warning
approach. First, there are visual and audible signals, then an extra warning jolt if the driver does
not react. The warning time point can be set in the MMI system. In a second stage, the system
automatically initiates hard braking. At speeds up to 40 km/h (24.9 mph) accidents can be
avoided completely within system limits. At speeds between 40 and 85 km/h (24.9 and
52.8 mph), the brake intervention reduces the car’s velocity at impact. If installed, the
actions of Audi pre sense are also triggered.
Audi pre sense front
The Audi pre sense front safety system is able to either avoid front-end collisions or minimize the
severity of their consequences. It is available in combination with adaptive cruise control with
Stop &Go, and it utilizes this other system’s radar sensors and the front camera. In a dangerous
situation, Audi pre sense front uses a graduated warning concept to urge the driver to brake. First,
it gives the driver visual and audible warnings, precharges the brake system and, if an adaptive air
suspension is installed, it stiffens the shock absorbers. If the driver does not react, partial braking
is initiated. Simultaneously, the system pretensions the seat belts, closes the side windows and
sliding sunroof and activates the hazard warning lights. As a final action, Audi pre sense front
initiates hard braking from speeds under 30 km/h (18.6 mph). The system is active over the
car’s entire speed range up to 250 km/h (155.3 mph).
You can find animations on the individual technologies in the Audi Technology Portal at
Media Center
Audi pre sense rear
Audi pre sense rear uses radar sensors in the rear bumper to detect an impending rear-end
collision, and it initiates preventive safety measures. These include pretensioning the front seat
belts by electric power and closing the windows and sliding sunroof. In addition, the system
activates the hazard warning lights to alert following traffic to the critical situation. In this
process, the Rear-end collision alert signal (RECAS) is triggered, which flashes the hazard warning
lights at a high frequency. Audi pre sense rear is active in background over the car’s entire driving
speed range with the exception of trailer towing situations.
Audi side assist
The Audi side assist lane-changing assistant helps the driver to change lanes at driving speeds
of 15 km/h (9.3 mph) and faster. It uses two rear-mounted radar sensors with a scanning range
of roughly 70 meters (229.7 ft). If the system detects a vehicle located in the blind spot or
approaching quickly from the rear, a warning LED is lit in the housing of the relevant exterior
mirror. If the driver activates the turn signal anyway, the LED flashes several times in rapid
Collision avoidance assist
Collision avoidance assist helps the driver steer around an obstacle in a critical situation.
The system uses data from the two radar sensors and the front camera for this purpose. In
calculating a suitable evasive maneuver corridor, it takes into account the distance, width and
offset of the vehicle driving ahead. First, a jolt is produced to warn the driver of the hazard.
If the driver then actively avoids the obstacle, the assistant applies a slight steering torque
that helps by correcting the driver’s steering input or helping to make a necessary lane change.
Collision avoidance assist is available over the speed range from approx. 30 to 150 km/h
(18.6 to 93.2 mph), and it assumes that the driver is actively steering during the entire
maneuver. The driver is informed of the intervention by an indicator in the instrument cluster.
Cross traffic assist rear
Rear cross traffic assist warns the driver of approaching vehicles it deems critical when slowly
backing up, such as when pulling out of a perpendicular parking spot. It uses the rear radar
sensors for this. They cover the zone at the rear, including the driving lanes to the left and right
behind the vehicle. The warnings are progressive – initially a visual warning is shown in the
MMI display (in the park assist display). The situation is represented in a virtual top view and in
the “rear” and “rear side” camera views. Red arrows behind the vehicle point in the direction from
which there is a potential hazard. If the driver does not react to the visual display, an audible
signal sounds before the system warns the driver with a brake jolt. This helps to avoid accidents
while exiting parking spaces.
You can find animations on the individual technologies in the Audi Technology Portal at
Media Center
Cruise control
Cruise control maintains a desired driving speed constantly starting at around 30 km/h
(18.6 mph) (model dependent), provided that it can be maintained by engine power and engine
braking effects. The system offers relief to drivers in this way – especially on long trips. At the
same time, the constant speed mode of driving contributes towards lower fuel consumption and
lower CO2 emissions. The system is operated via a separate steering column stalk, and the preset
driving speed is shown in the instrument cluster. The system is deactivated when the driver
Emergency assist
Emergency Assist detects, within system limits, when the driver is inactive. In such a case, the
system assumes control of the vehicle and automatically brakes it to a standstill in its own lane.
Emergency Assist monitors the driver’s steering activity. If it detects that the driver is inactive,
it prompts the driver repeatedly, via visual and audible warnings and by brake jolts, to actively
take over control of the vehicle again. With the first strong brake jolt at a driving speed below
80 km/h (49.7 mph), the hazard warning lights are also activated to warn the surrounding
traffic. If the driver remains inactive, despite the warnings, Emergency Assist brings the vehicle
to a standstill within system limits, and the parking brake is engaged. The driver can deactivate
Emergency Assist at any time by moving the steering wheel, pressing the brake or accelerator
pedal or by shutting off active lane assist or adaptive cruise control.
Emergency Assist represents an extension of Audi active lane assist, and it can use the functions
of adaptive cruise control and pre sense front. It is only activated when active lane assist is
activated and prepared for warnings, and adaptive cruise control is switched on or active.
Exit warning
Exit warning contributes to safety in city traffic. It is activated when the car comes to a stop. If
other vehicles or bicyclists are approaching from the rear and are classified as critical, the system
warns passengers not to open the doors. The system uses LED lights in the door trim for visual
warning – depending on the model, it might be a light strip on the inside door handle or contour
light in the door handle recess. In a situation assessed to be hazardous, the LEDs flicker four
times and light red. The LEDs of Audi side assist are also lit in the relevant exterior side mirror.
The exit warning remains active for approximately three minutes after the ignition is turned off.
This system is based on two radar sensors of Audi side assist, which monitor the rear zones –
behind the vehicle and to the sides at the rear.
You can find animations on the individual technologies in the Audi Technology Portal at
Media Center
High-beam assist
High-beam assist utilizes a camera mounted on the interior mirror. It detects light sources –
the headlights of oncoming vehicles, tail lights of other road users and the reflections of
municipality limit signs, for instance – and automatically switches between high beam and
low beam lighting. This provides for better visibility and a more relaxed driving experience.
Drivers of oncoming vehicles are not blinded by glare.
Hold assist
Hold assist enables convenient drive-offs when the car is on the usual inclines and descents of
street traffic, and it prevents the vehicle from rolling. The system automatically switches over
to the electromechanical parking brake when the vehicle is stopped for a longer period of time
while hold assist is activated. This ensures that the car will remain stationary even without
activation of the parking brake. In conjunction with S tronic, after a stop at a traffic light, for
instance, the car drives off as soon as the driver presses the accelerator pedal. The system is
activated by pushing a button.
Multicollision brake assist
Multicollision brake assist automatically brakes the vehicle in the event of an accident, thus
reducing the danger of skidding as well as the risk of further collisions. A special sensor system
is used to detect a collision. The safety computer determines the severity of the crash and the
reduction in speed associated with the collision. If defined thresholds are exceeded, the safety
computer sends a corresponding message to the Electronic Stabilization Control (ESC) control
unit to trigger an automatic brake application, taking the system status into account. The
vehicle is not automatically braked if the driver presses on the accelerator. The same is true
if the ESC, the brake system or the electrical system are not functioning.
Park assist
Park assist can automatically steer the vehicle into parallel or perpendicular parking spaces.
It uses ultrasonic sensors for this purpose, which are located in the front and rear of the
bumpers and in the sides of the bumpers. The sensors measure parking spaces along the road
while driving past them at moderate speed. To achieve optimal results, this speed should be a
maximum of 20 km/h (12.4 mph) for perpendicular parking spaces and a maximum of 30 km/h
(18.6 mph) for parallel spaces. A message appears on the MMI display when the system finds a
suitable spot. The only actions required of the driver in parking are to accelerate, shift gears and
brake. The system handles the entire steering process. In addition, audible signals help the
driver. Park assist will steer multiple forward and backward maneuvers if necessary. It can also
exit from parallel parking spaces. The driver activates the system by pushing a button on the
center console.
You can find animations on the individual technologies in the Audi Technology Portal at
Media Center
Parking system plus
Parking system plus informs the driver, visually and audibly, about obstacles in front of and
behind the vehicle. The warnings are made when the distance to a detected object in the path
of driving is less than 90 cm (35.4 in) – depending on the specific model – after the driver has
engaged reverse gear and activated the system by pushing a button on the center console.
Ultrasonic sensors inconspicuously integrated into the bumpers measure the distance. The
MMI display depicts it visually. A white segment shows a detected object outside of the driving
path. Red segments represent detected objects within the driving path. The virtual driving path
display also shows lateral guide lines which are precalculated based on the currently selected
steering input and thereby assists in convenient parking and exiting. Increasing frequency of
the audible warning indicates that the distance to the obstacle is decreasing. At around 30 cm
(11.8 in) distance to the detected object, the driver hears a constant tone – the signal to stop.
Parking system, rear
Parking system, rear makes it easy to maneuver and park – even in small spaces. While reverse
gear is engaged, the system warns the driver with audible signals as soon as the distance to a
detected object behind the vehicle is classified as critical. For this purpose, the system utilizes
ultrasonic sensors that are inconspicuously integrated into the rear bumper. They also detect
obstacles outside of the driver’s field of view. Increasing frequency of the audible warning
indicates that the distance to the obstacle is decreasing. At around 30 cm (11.8 in) distance
to the detected object, the driver hears a constant tone – the signal to stop.
Predictive efficiency assistant
The predictive efficiency assistant works closely with Audi adaptive cruise control (ACC), the Audi
navigation system and the camera-based traffic sign recognition. When ACC is active, the system
predictively and automatically adjusts the preselected speed to conditions – the route topography,
speed limits and the traffic ahead. Regardless of whether route guidance is active or not, the
predictive efficiency assistant uses the route data to alert the driver about situations that call for
lower speeds. The system recognizes curves, traffic circles, intersections, gradients, city limits and
speed limit signs – in many cases long before the driver sees them. A corresponding warning
appears in the instrument cluster and/or the Audi virtual cockpit and head-up display. If the driver
wishes, the system can control the free-wheeling of the eight-speed tiptronic itself. This coasting
operation is only activated if it can be used for a longer period of time. When it ends, the car
automatically accelerates to the speed the driver has selected, provided the ACC is activated.
The predictive efficiency assistant can reduce fuel consumption on country roads by up to
10 percent.
You can find animations on the individual technologies in the Audi Technology Portal at
Media Center
Reversing camera
The reversing camera simplifies maneuvering by showing the zone behind the vehicle on the
MMI display. It shows the calculated driving track based on the steering angle as well as
auxiliary lines and guide lines. For parallel parking, the latter lines precisely direct steering
into the parking space in conjunction with steering reversal points. The virtual blue surface in
the camera image indicates where the vehicle will be positioned after the parking procedure.
The reversing camera is inconspicuously integrated into the handle trim strip of the luggage
compartment lid. It is active as soon as the driver engages reverse gear or has activated the
system by pushing a button on the center console.
Speed limiter
The configurable speed limiter limits driving speed to a value set by the driver within the speed
range of 30 to 250 km/h (18.6 to 155.3 mph) – which is very helpful within city limits or
construction zones, for example. When the preset limit is reached, the vehicle gently throttles
the speed down. The speed limit is not exceeded even if the driver applies more pressure to the
accelerator pedal. However, the driver can temporarily override the limit by kick-down, and the
speed limiter can be completely deactivated at any time from the steering column stalk. The
speed that has been preset is shown in the instrument cluster.
Trailer maneuver assist
This system helps the driver to maneuver in reverse with a trailer. The driver can use the
rotary/push-button control in the MMI to variably adjust the angle at which the trailer should be
backed up. To travel in a straight line, the driver taps once on the control. The image from the
rear view camera on the MMI monitor shows lines that serve as a guide. Trailer maneuver assist
turns the steering wheel and directs the trailer onto the selected course. In this process, the
driver steers the entire car-trailer combination with the rotary/push-button control. A rotating
sensor in the trailer coupling serves as the technical basis of the trailer maneuver assist – it
senses the articulation angle between towing vehicle and the trailer. Prior to use, drivers should
briefly acquaint themselves with the system by driving a number of meters with a trailer. The
trailer maneuver assist allows a driving speed of up to 10 km/h (6.2 mph). If the articulation
angle is too large, the system emits a warning, and it brakes in case of an emergency.
You can find animations on the individual technologies in the Audi Technology Portal at
Media Center
Traffic jam assist
Traffic jam assist is a subsystem of adaptive cruise control (ACC). In vehicles with an automatic
transmission, traffic jam assist can assume certain steering tasks over a speed range up to
65 km/h (40.4 mph) on roads that are in good condition, as long as the traffic is moving slowly.
The system uses the radar sensors and the front camera. It guides the car by making gentle
steering movements within system limits. Traffic jam assist orients itself to lane markings,
roadside structures and other vehicles on the road. When traffic jam assist reaches its system
limits – such as when the traffic thins out or there is a sharp curve ahead – the driver must
assume driving tasks again. If the driver does not, the system warns the driver in several
stages. As a final measure, it autonomously brings the car to a safe stop.
Turn assist
As soon as the driver sets the turn signal, turn assist monitors the lane with oncoming traffic.
Data from the two radar sensors and the front camera are used for this purpose. Turn assist can
apply a brake intervention to prevent the vehicle from colliding with an oncoming vehicle during
left or right turns in drive-off maneuvers or when driving slowly – up to a speed of 10 km/h
(6.2 mph). This brake intervention keeps the vehicle within its own lane. The driver is informed
of the intervention by an indicator in the instrument cluster.
Traffic sign recognition
Camera-based traffic sign recognition detects traffic signs such as speed limit signs (including
digital signs), no passing zones, entry restriction signs and other auxiliary signs, and it shows
them to the driver in graphic form. They then appear in the driver information system and/or
the Audi virtual cockpit as well as in the head-up display. The camera on the windshield also
detects temporary speed restrictions such as in construction zones, as well as time- and
weather-conditional restrictions. The system shows the currently applicable speed limit. For
example, if a lower speed applies when the road is wet, this value is displayed – if the windshield
wipers are on. Speed limits that are only in force at certain times of day are only shown at those
times. In addition, the driver can choose a warning threshold as an offset to the legal speed
limit. When this threshold is exceeded, a visual warning is given.
You can find animations on the individual technologies in the Audi Technology Portal at
Media Center
360 degree cameras
Four cameras on the vehicle scan the surroundings and depict obstacles in the immediate vicinity
of the vehicle. The driver can choose from different camera views which simplify parking and
maneuvering. In the “Surroundings” view, he gets an overview of the overall parking situation
in a top view shown in the MMI display. It can help to position the vehicle more precisely in the
parking space. The “front” and “rear side” views enable better visibility when exiting tight parking
spaces or driveways. The practice-proven reversing camera view and a similar view toward the
front round out the display options. The system is automatically activated when driving in reverse
or by pushing a button on the center console.
You can find animations on the individual technologies in the Audi Technology Portal at
Media Center
Drive system
Not all automatic transmissions are the same, and not all quattro drive systems are the same.
In this section, we decipher the different technologies, explain their modes of operation as
well as concepts like the Audi valvelift system and ‘rightsizing’.
Audi valvelift system (AVS)
The Audi valvelift system (AVS) adjusts valve timing over two stages according to engine load
and rpm. This increases full-load torque or reduces fuel consumption in part-load operation.
The Audi valvelift system is available in two variants. In the turbocharged 3.0 TFSI V6 engine
and in the 2.0 TFSI (140 kW), it acts on the intake valves and controls the amount of inducted
air. The throttle can remain wide open for part-load as well – this largely eliminates throttle
losses due to reduced efficiency in inducting the air against the resistance of a closed throttle.
At higher loads, it delays closing of the intake valves to achieve a better fill. The engine can
induct air freely for more power and torque.
In the four-cylinder gasoline engines from a power of 150 kW (vehicle-dependent) and the
2.5 TFSI five cylinder engine, AVS varies the stroke of the exhaust valves. It makes special
adjustments to the valve timing to reduce flushing losses in the combustion chamber and
ensures optimal flow of exhaust gas to the turbocharger particularly in the low rpm range.
The combusted gases are exhausted from the cylinder completely, and this leads to greater
filling with fresh gas. This results in more torque, even better dynamic throttle response and
consequently much more tractive power and elasticity.In addition, AVS enables longer gear
ratios, which lead to considerably improved fuel economy.
Finally, the Audi valvelift system is also used to deactivate cylinders in the turbocharged V8
engine and in the 1.4 TFSI engines. In the valve switchover process, a “zero-stroke contour” is
activated on both the intake and exhaust camshafts for half of the cylinders. This causes the still
active cylinders to operate in load regions with better efficiency, while the deactivated cylinders
largely run without losses – like gas springs. This action improves the engine’s fuel efficiency,
especially under low loads.
B-cycle process
In the 2.0 TFSI (140 kW), Audi has combined larger engine displacement with innovative
technologies. The results: When shifting gears in a moderate style, drivers experience the
fuel-efficiency advantages of a small displacement engine, but when driving in a sporty style
they benefit from the dynamic performance of a large engine.
You can find animations on the individual technologies in the Audi Technology Portal at
Media Center
The combustion process used in the 2.0 TFSI is essentially comparable to what is known as the
Miller Cycle. However, Audi engineers have made crucial progress in its development. Besides
the shortened compression phase and extended expansion phase, compression has been
increased, and this is accompanied by turbocharging, dual fuel injection and the Audi valvelift
system (AVS).
In the shortened compression cycle, the 2.0 TFSI compresses the combustion gas like a
small displacement 1.4 TFSI, but to a compression ratio of 11.7:1, which is unusually high for
turbocharged engines. The intake valves close much earlier than usual – in interplay with an
increased pressure in the intake manifold they reduce throttle losses during the intake cycle in
the partial load range. In the subsequent expansion phase, the engine delivers work and fully
exploits the two liters of displacement. The approximately 40 percent longer expansion of the
combustion gas compared with the 1.4 TFSI means that more engine work is output at the same
rate of fuel consumption. This leads to a significant increase in efficiency over broad regions of
the engine map. To ensure good fuel induction despite the short intake time, the combustion
chambers, piston bowls and inlet ducts as well as the turbocharger of the new 2.0 TFSI have
been specifically tuned for the new combustion process.
Eight-speed tiptronic
The eight-speed tiptronic is a classic torque-converter automatic transmission whose
great strength lies in its high level of shifting and drive off comfort. Gear shifts are gentle,
spontaneous, fast and highly flexible. Audi uses it in many models with a longitudinally
mounted engine. Thanks to its eight speeds, jumps in rpm are small between gears, and the
engine always runs near its ideal operating point. An rpm-adaptive torsion damper balances
out undesired engine vibrations and enables efficient driving at extra-low engine speeds.
Also playing a large role in the efficiency ensemble is the torque converter lockup clutch with
integrated damper. Under normal driving conditions, the lockup torque converter connects the
transmission directly to the engine. It works with limited slip in certain situations, which – in
interplay with the integrated damper – permits very low engine speeds without vibrations
occurring. If the car is stationary, an internal clutch decouples the transmission from the engine,
even if the “D” stage is still selected – this avoids losses due to oil circulation in the converter.
As soon as the driver releases the brake, the clutch closes, and the damping effect of the torque
converter ensures a smooth drive-off.
The dynamic shift program (DSP), which controls the eight-speed tiptronic, is housed in a
small steel box within the gear-shift unit. It utilizes a fast processor. In the “D” mode, DSP
autonomously sets the optimal shift point. To enable an efficient mode of driving, it gives
preference to large gears and low engine speeds. In a second shift gate, the tiptronic allows
manual intervention in the automatic transmission’s operation. This allows downshifting, e.g.
on winding descents to boost engine braking or for driving in an exceptionally sporty style.
You can find animations on the individual technologies in the Audi Technology Portal at
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In sport mode, the automatic transmission boosts driving dynamics by setting later shift points.
The selector lever communicates fully electronically, without any mechanical connection with
the transmission (shift-by-wire).
The eight-speed tiptronic is able to work together with the Audi start-stop system. It integrates
a small, permanently filled hydraulic reservoir for this purpose. When restarting after a stop,
its oil volume – of around 100 milliliters (0.1 US qt) – is pressurized by a spring-loaded piston,
which is necessary for drive-off. The transmission is ready to start within a very short period of
Manual transmissions
Manual transmissions are ideal in conjunction with front-wheel and quattro drives. Most manual
transmissions operate with six gears, and some with five gears.
In the majority of Audi models with longitudinally mounted engines, the new generation of sixspeed manual transmissions is used for engine torques of up to 400 Nm (295 lb-ft). Customers
can choose either front-wheel drive or the innovative quattro drive with ultra technology. Parts
with lightweight design such as magnesium housings can be used, depending on the level of
forces in the drive.
An entire bundle of measures reduces internal friction in manual transmissions, which further
improves their already high level of efficiency. An integrated oil pump enables implementation
of the innovative dry sump lubrication via oil guides to efficiently minimize friction in the
A special mount for the gear levers decouples vibrations in power transmission, and the driver
feels no vibrations. What the driver does notice is the precise shifting on short and clearly
defined paths.
quattro permanent all-wheel drive
Throughout its model range, Audi offers a very wide variety of car concepts – and quattro
technology is equally multifaceted.
Modular longitudinal platform: the self-locking center differential
In Audi models with a longitudinally mounted front engine, the heart of the quattro
drivetrain is a self-locking center differential. It is configured as a purely mechanical
planetary gear with no time lag. A hollow wheel surrounds a sun wheel. Between the
two, cylindrical planetary wheels turn, which are connected to the rotating housing. In
regular driving operation, 60 percent of the drive torque flows to the rear axle via the
hollow wheel, which has a larger diameter, and its associated output shaft. 40 percent
goes to the front axle via the smaller sun wheel. This asymmetrical, dynamic torque
distribution results in sporty handling that emphasizes rear propulsion. Oblique splines
produce axial forces immediately when torque is transfered by the differential.
You can find animations on the individual technologies in the Audi Technology Portal at
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These forces act on friction discs to produce a locking torque that diverts the torque to
the wheels with the better traction. In its latest form, the center differential can divert
70 percent of the torque to the front, or up to 85 percent to the rear. The high locking
values enable a clearly defined torque distribution and highly precise interaction with
control systems such as the ESC and wheel-selective torque control. For even greater
dynamics and driving safety, top-of-the-line Audi models based on the modular
longitudinal platform can also be equipped with a sport differential.
This technology is currently used in the following model series:
Audi A4
Audi A5
Audi Q5
Audi A6
Audi A7
Audi Q7
Audi A8
Modular transverse platform: the electro-hydraulic multi-plate clutch
For compact models with a transverse-mounted engine, Audi uses a quattro drivetrain
featuring an electronically controlled multi-plate clutch with hydraulic actuator. It is
mounted at the end of the propshaft before the rear differential to optimize weight
distribution. Inside the clutch is a package of metal friction rings mounted in pairs one
behind the other. One ring of each pair is permanently meshed with the clutch basket,
which rotates with the propshaft. The other ring of each pair is connected to the shaft
leading to the rear differential.
The all-wheel drive software constantly calculates the right torque distribution between
the front and rear axles based on numerous data. When there is demand for torque,
the highly efficient electric axial piston pump builds up as much as 40 bar of hydraulic
pressure within just a few milliseconds. It presses the friction plates together, which
enables variable transmission of the drive torque to the rear axle. The electronically
controlled multi-plate clutch guarantees the best possible traction, driving dynamics
and driving safety while delivering dynamic handling with actively controlled torque
This technology is currently used in the following model series:
Audi A1
Audi Q2
Audi A3
Audi Q3
Audi TT
You can find animations on the individual technologies in the Audi Technology Portal at
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In the Audi TT, Audi S1, Audi S3, Audi RS Q3 and Audi RS 3, management of the multiplate clutch is configured with a focus on dynamics. Its special control philosophy puts
considerable emphasis on parameters relevant to driving dynamics; at the same time it
is based on the Audi drive select mode that is active (TT, S3 and RS3) and electronic
stabilization control (ESC). This results in more frequent and pronounced torque
distribution favoring the rear axle, which further adds to sporty handling. In sport mode,
or when ESC is disabled, it permits controlled drifts on road surfaces with low friction
coefficients. In a more relaxed mode of driving, on the other hand, it is possible to fully
disengage the clutch temporarily in the TT to save fuel. As soon as the driving state
changes, the quattro drive is reactivated.
Audi R8: Actively controlled front differential
In the Audi R8, the seven-speed S tronic with its integrated rear differential and limitedslip differential is located behind the engine. The electro-hydraulic multi-plate clutch
integrated in the front differential transmits torque to the front wheels via a propshaft
within just a few milliseconds. It can distribute torque between the two axles fully
variably. The combination of a high-performance transmission mechanism and all-wheel
drive software tailored to a mid-engine sports car enables driving dynamics that attain
an unprecedented balance between stability and agility.
The all-wheel drive software continuously computes the ideal distribution of torque to
the axles as a function of the driving situation, driver inputs and ambient conditions.
Up to 100 percent of the power can flow to the front or rear axle, for instance. quattro
management is integrated into the Audi drive select driving dynamics system which
offers the four modes comfort, auto, dynamic and individual. In the performance mode,
it also offers programs for dry, wet and snow. These programs adapt driving dynamics
parameters to the specific grip conditions of the road surface.
If grip is decreasing at the rear wheels, such as on a road surface with a low friction
coefficient, an electrically driven axial piston pump presses the clutch plates inside the
clutch together at a pressure of up to 38 bar; these plates are made of steel and are
coated with an organic material. The higher the oil pressure, the greater the force that is
redirected variably from the rear to the front axle. To assure quick pressure build-up, the
pump continually circulates a fixed volume of oil. The multi-plate clutch is connected to
the engine’s coolant circulation system, which utilizes three large radiators at the front
of the car. This solution ensures that the clutch can perform its control tasks fully and
precisely under all conditions. A temperature sensor and a pressure sensor continually
monitor conditions and adapt control parameters as necessary.
The mechanical rear differential further improves traction and driving dynamics. It
has a locking effect of 25 percent during engine traction operation and 45 percent
during engine overrun. It is precisely tuned for the dynamic character of the Audi R8
and the actively controlled quattro drive. This results in turn-in behavior that practically
eliminates understeer.
You can find animations on the individual technologies in the Audi Technology Portal at
Media Center
quattro with ultra technology
quattro with ultra technology combines driving dynamics and safety with high efficiency.
This is all attributable to combining the newly developed all-wheel drive components with
a sophisticated operating strategy and a torque split that is perfectly matched to the car.
The all-wheel drive system’s intelligent control works predictively, always looking ahead
via a comprehensive array of sensors and continuous analysis of the acquired data on driving
dynamics, the road condition and driver behavior. Consequently, the quattro all-wheel drive
system is always ready when needed. During standard operation at low loads and without
the risk of wheel slip, it exploits all the advantages of front-wheel drive. All-wheel drive is
deactivated whenever it is not needed, but it remains available at all times. This significantly
reduces the potential difference in fuel consumption between front-wheel drive and permanent
all-wheel drive systems.
Activation of the all-wheel drive system follows a three-stage strategy: proactive, predictive, i.e.
forward-looking, and reactive. On the proactive level, the focus is on the data supplied by the
networked systems in the car. The control unit uses these data to, for example, compute the
point when the inside front tire will reach the limit of grip during fast cornering. The calculation
is completed roughly 0.5 seconds before the limit is reached. When the wheel’s grip approaches
a predefined threshold for the grip limit, the all-wheel drive system is activated. With predictive
activation, the quattro control unit is primarily attuned to the driver’s style as well as the states
of Electronic Stabilization Control (ESC) and trailer detection. With reactive activation – which
rarely occurs in practice – the system reacts to sudden changes in the coefficient of friction.
These occur, for example, when the wheels go from dry asphalt to a sheet of ice.
The optimal distribution of torque between the front and rear axles is computed continuously
when the system is active. The control strategy considers ESC data, ambient conditions, the
driving situation and the driver’s preference. The torque can be optimally distributed between
the two axles at all times as a function of these factors. The enhanced efficiency is made
possible by two clutches in the drivetrain. When the system switches over to front-wheel drive,
the front clutch – a multi-plate clutch at the transmission output – disengages the propshaft.
An integrated decoupling clutch also opens in the rear differential. The quattro with ultra
technology has been designed for numerous Audi models with a longitudinally mounted
front engine.
You can find animations on the individual technologies in the Audi Technology Portal at
Media Center
Downsizing became the mainstream in engine development with the introduction of TFSI
technology – its aim was to continually reduce engine displacement while simultaneously
increasing power density. This led to substantial savings in terms of fuel consumption.
Rightsizing is a continuation of the conventional downsizing. It enables additional gains in
fuel economy in the near full-load region by modified combustion processes and selection of
displacement. Innovative technologies are used to achieve this such as the Audi valvelift system
(AVS), integration of the exhaust manifold into the cylinder head and a turbocharger with an
electric wastegate actuator. They make it possible to design the engines to attain an optimal
combination of displacement, power, torque and fuel economy for the required use conditions.
The cylinder on demand (COD) system is another example of this. It shuts down four or two
cylinders in the part-load region. This solution is a variant of the rightsizing strategy. It aims
to attain the right ratio of displacement and charging.
S tronic dual-clutch transmission
The S tronic dual-clutch transmission combines the convenience of an automatic transmission
with the efficiency of a manual transmission. It is available over a broad range of models in
different versions – with six or seven gears.
Audi has developed a special version of the seven-speed S tronic for longitudinally mounted
engines. In this version, the gear wheels for all gears are arranged sequentially on one output
shaft. The four variants for transverse mounted engines, on the other hand, have a layout with
two output shafts. This enables compact construction. The S tronic for transverse engines is
available with six or seven speeds; the seven-speed variant has three versions. There are also
three versions for longitudinally mounted engines, one of which is designed for pure quattro
technology and another as a sporty version that is mounted at the rear of the R8. Which variant
works together with which engine is based on what the customer wants in the vehicle and on
the torque to be transmitted.
Two multi-plate clutches which operate different gears are integrated in the S tronic.
The large K1 clutch transmits engine torque via a solid shaft to the gear wheels for the oddnumbered gears 1, 3, 5 and 7. A hollow shaft rotates around the solid shaft. It is connected to
the K2 clutch, which is either in parallel to the K1 clutch or inside of it. This K2 clutch operates
the even-numbered gears 2, 4 and 6 as well as reverse gear. Both transmission subunits are
continually active, but only one is connected to the engine at any given time. For example,
when the driver accelerates in third gear, the fourth gear is already engaged in the second
transmission structure. The shifting process takes place as the clutch changes – K1 disengages
while K2 engages. This takes just a few hundredths of a second, and they are executed with
nearly no interruption of propulsive power. The S tronic shifts so dynamically, fluidly and
comfortably that the gear shift is hardly perceptible to the driver.
You can find animations on the individual technologies in the Audi Technology Portal at
Media Center
The mechatronics module, a compact and robust unit, contains the electronics together with the
hydraulic actuator units. Its control concept makes it possible to vary the speed of the gear shift
and precisely control the necessary force. The multi-plate clutches are managed with maximum
precision – the seven-speed S tronic also works in stop-and-go traffic and is very sensitive in
The seven-speed S tronic can be used in different ways. The automatic mode offers the D (Drive)
and S (Sport) programs. Drivers can use the selector lever or shift paddles on the steering wheel
to shift themselves. Another feature for the high-performance models is Launch Control, which
fully exploits the vehicle’s acceleration potential when starting off from a stop. The sportiest
seven-speed S tronic for the longitudinally mounted engines can handle engine speeds up to
9,000 rpm.
In all variants, the S tronic offers many strengths: a high level of efficiency, intelligent
management and a large spread with high gears that have long gear ratios. Consequently,
the high-tech transmission is able to improve fuel economy compared to a manual gearbox
in many cases. Its two dry clutches operate without their own oil supply, which further boosts
efficiency. All variants of the S tronic are combined with the start-stop system from Audi. The
latest S tronic for longitudinally mounted engines offers – in addition to an innovative pressure
reservoir system – shift-by-wire technology, which is a prerequisite for numerous assistance
systems that culminate in piloted driving.
You can find animations on the individual technologies in the Audi Technology Portal at
Media Center
Intelligent connectivity and communication solutions are keys to the future of the
automobile. With its LTE module, Audi is connecting its models to the World Wide Web and
is integrating smartphones into the vehicle infotainment system in a variety of ways.
Audi connect
Audi connect brings the brand’s internet services into the car – either via the fast LTE standard
with download speeds up to 100 MBit/s or via a UMTS module, depending on the model. Its
wide variety of features (model dependent) range from navigation with Google Earth and Google
Street View to travel information, traffic information online and parking space searches to the
Twitter social network with a special interface designed for use in the car. Users can also access
weather information and fuel prices, and drivers can choose to be guided directly to the fuel
station of their choice by navigation. Services are displayed on the screen in the car (in MMI or
the Audi virtual cockpit), and they are operated from the multifunction steering wheel, the
rotary/push-button control or by voice command. The driver can also have most information
read aloud, such as personalized messages, e-mails, text messages and information from social
network portals such as Twitter. This lets drivers continue to devote their full attention to what
is happening on the road.
Customers can obtain the mobile data needed to use the services via the Audi connect SIM
installed in the vehicle, which already includes a flat-rate data plan (see Audi connect SIM). As an
alternative, customers can use their own SIM card or individual cellular service provider to obtain
data. The car is equipped with a SIM card reader for this purpose. Audi connect is always coupled
to a navigation system.
Audi connect contains the following online functions (model dependent):
City events
Flight information
Map update
Fuel prices
Country information
myAudi special destinations
News online
Navigation with Google Earth and Google Street View
Online Media Streaming
Parking information
Point-of-Interest (POI) search with voice control
Travel information
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Traffic information online
Wi-Fi hotspot for up to 8 devices and Wi-Fi client in existing Wi-Fi network
Destination entry via myAudi or Google Maps.
Train information
Audi connect safety & service
The “Audi connect safety & service” package contains the functions emergency call, online
roadside assistance and Audi service request.
In the event of a serious accident, such as one that has activated the airbag, the car initiates
an emergency call independently. It establishes a voice and data connection with the Audi
Emergency Call Center and supplies important data such as GPS coordinates, direction of travel
and number of occupants. Over a voice connection, a specially trained service employee asks the
driver and passengers in their native language for further details about the severity of the
accident so that the best form of assistance can be set in motion without delay. If the accident
victims are unresponsive to voice communication, the service employee contacts the emergency
coordination center, which dispatches an ambulance to the accident scene. The driver or front
passenger can also activate the emergency call manually using a switch in the roof module.
Because the emergency call module has its own power source, it can establish a voice connection
even if the car’s electrical system has failed.
The driver or front passenger can trigger online roadside assistance manually by pushing a
button in the roof module. This connects them to the Audi Service Center, and the location
and relevant car status data are transmitted.
The vehicle's Audi service request function sends service-relevant data to the workshop specified
by the customer in the myAudi portal two weeks prior to scheduled maintenance. The service
partner can then contact the customer to schedule an appointment.
The Audi connect safety & service package also includes model-specific remote functions which
can be used with the MMI connect app from a smartphone, smartwatch or – in conjunction with
the fourth generation of Apple TV – from a television. Examples are locking and unlocking the
car, checking where the car is parked and calling up the vehicle status. The status report includes
information that the customer can have displayed via smartphone about the opened/closed
state of windows and unlocked/locked state of doors, distance to empty, fuel level and oil level.
The app can also be used to conveniently program the optional auxiliary heating function.
In e-tron models, the momentary charge state and remaining electric driving range can be
called up using the Audi MMI connect app. The driver can activate the charging process and
climate control remotely – including at specific times with user-configurable timers. Information
on recent drives and on average electrical energy consumption, for instance, is still available to
the driver at all times.
You can find animations on the individual technologies in the Audi Technology Portal at
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Audi connect SIM
The Audi connect SIM is a permanently installed SIM card which customers in Europe can
receive, depending on the model and country, in conjunction with the optional Audi connect
package. It includes unlimited data for the use of connect services. The Audi connect SIM can
also automatically access the provider for a specific country in most European countries, as
necessary. This eliminates high, country-specific roaming charges and inconvenient roaming
confirmations for the customer.
With the Audi connect SIM card, the use of Audi connect services is activated when the car is
purchased – and in combination with MMI Navigation plus it is free for three years (depending
on the model). With MMI navigation, use of services is included for three months or, for an
additional fee, for three years. After this, customers can ask their Audi service partner to extend
access for a fee.
The customer can also purchase additional data packages for the WiFi hotspot (see WiFi
hotspot) via a special web portal, independently of the integrated Audi connect services.
This allows the passengers to surf the internet with up to eight mobile devices.
Audi MMI connect app
The Audi MMI connect app offers many other functions via Audi connect services, which can be
operated from the on-board MMI system. They include transferring a smartphone calendar to
the screen in the car (in MMI or the Audi virtual cockpit). The driver can import an appointment
location directly from the smartphone for use as a navigation destination and can transfer the
phone number of a contact person as a contact entry. The system reads out the place, time and
purpose of an appointment. Moreover, users can use the app to receive over 3,000 internet radio
stations and store their favorites on their smartphones. It is also possible to play back music in
the car that is stored locally on a smartphone and to use online media streaming with access to
Napster products and services. In addition, the Audi MMI connect app can show current traffic
information on a smartphone for use outside of the vehicle. The “Travel” service recommends
travel destinations such as attractions, restaurants, hotels, shopping, sports and recreational
Navigation destinations can be planned on a PC or with a smartphone; individual destinations
can be sent to the Audi back-end via the myAudi online portal, Google Maps and the Audi MMI
connect app. Afterwards, the driver can call up the saved destinations from the back-end for
navigation in the car. This can also be done from other apps using the “Destination Sharing”
service. The smartphone user simply selects the “Share” function to transfer the relevant
data to the Audi MMI connect app.
Customers can download the Audi MMI connect app free-of-charge at the Google Play Store
or in the App Store. Registration at myAudi is then required. At myAudi, the driver can manage
individual connect services, schedule service appointments or obtain information on the car.
This requires that the relevant vehicle identification number be stored in the system.
You can find animations on the individual technologies in the Audi Technology Portal at
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The Audi connect safety & service package also includes model-specific remote functions which
can be used with the MMI connect app from a smartphone, smartwatch or – in conjunction with
the fourth generation of Apple TV – from a television. Examples are locking and unlocking the
car, checking where the car is parked and calling up the vehicle status. The status report includes
information that the customer can have displayed via smartphone about the opened/closed
state of windows and unlocked/locked state of doors, distance to empty, fuel level and oil level.
The app can also be used to conveniently program the optional auxiliary heating function.
In e-tron models, the momentary charge state and remaining electric driving range can be
called up using the Audi MMI connect app. The driver can activate the charging process and
climate control remotely – including at specific times with user-configurable timers. Information
on recent drives and on average electrical energy consumption, for instance, is still available to
the driver at all times.
Audi phone box
The Audi phone box with wireless charging in the center armrest connects the cellphone to the
car antenna by near-field coupling, wirelessly, and delivers appreciably better reception quality.
The box enables inductive charging according to the Qi standard, provided that the mobile device
supports it. The current flows from a coil in the base of the Audi phone box to the receiver coil in
the smartphone.
Audi smartphone interface
The Audi smartphone interface brings Apple Car Play and Android Auto into the vehicle and thus
the familiar smartphone environment. Content such as navigation, phone, music and select
third-party apps appear in a separate MMI menu or the Audi virtual cockpit (only in the Audi TT
and Audi R8). Customers can use the user terminal or voice commands to conveniently access
the contents of an iOS or Android device (iOS 7.1 and above, Android at least 5.0 Lollipop) that is
connected via the USB port. The Audi smartphone interface acts independently of the navigation
system and Audi connect services.
You can find animations on the individual technologies in the Audi Technology Portal at
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Bang & Olufsen Sound System with 3D sound
The Bang & Olufsen Sound System with 3D sound offers a fascinating innovation – sound that
includes the spatial dimension of height. It utilizes four additional loudspeakers for this purpose:
two in the instrument panel and one in each of the A-pillars. The music sounds like it is being
played in a concert hall. Behind the new technology is an algorithm that Audi developed in
collaboration with the Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits (IIS) in Erlangen. The program
uses stereo or 5.1 recordings to calculate the information for the third dimension and processes
it for the additional loudspeakers. The number of loudspeakers varies depending on the model.
In the Audi A4 and Audi Q5, a 755-watt 16-channel amplifier drives 19 loudspeakers; in the
Audi A5 there are 20. In the Audi Q7, the Bang & Olufsen Sound System with 3D sound integrates
23 loudspeakers and delivers 1,920 watts of output power.
Wi-Fi hotspot
The WiFi hotspot is included in the vehicle with both navigation systems (standard or optional
depending on the car model). This enables passengers to surf the internet with up to eight
mobile devices – from laptops to tablets and smartphones. If the car has a permanently
installed SIM card (Audi connect SIM), the customer can purchase data packages at the online
shop of Audi partner Cubic Telecom. Customers can access the shop via their myAudi account.
Once the appropriate packages have been enabled, they can be ordered directly from the car via
the MMI system. If a customer selects a European data package, data transfers automatically
continue to work at a fixed price when crossing an international border as well, i.e. by switching
over internet providers. As an alternative, customers can continue to use their own SIM card in
the car and make the WiFi internet connection through their own individual cell phone providers.
In this case, however, data usage for Audi connect services is billed through the customer’s own
SIM card, and the Audi connect SIM is temporarily deactivated.
Communication with the internet is made through the roof antenna. This facilitates maximum
connection stability and excellent reception quality. Encryption by the WPA2 standard ensures
the necessary security of data transmissions.
You can find animations on the individual technologies in the Audi Technology Portal at
Media Center
One of the most important laws of the road is to see and be seen. The Ingolstadt-based
premium carmaker fulfills this maxim with innovative lighting technologies and combines
them with highly expressive design.
LED headlights
Along with their high level of efficiency, LED headlights also offer significant benefits in terms
of safety and comfort. With a color temperature of around 5,500 Kelvin, their light resembles
daylight and hardly causes any eye fatigue – especially in the dark and in the case of adverse
weather conditions. In addition, LED headlights offer longer visual range than xenon headlights.
In fog and precipitation, they cause the driver less glare. The LEDs are maintenance-free and
designed to last the life of the car. The give the Audi models a distinctive look and strong
accents with their innovative daytime and nighttime designs.
Audi designs the LED headlights differently for each model. In the Audi A5, for example,
26 LEDs per headlight generate all lighting functions. In each headlight, 14 LEDs work together
to generate the low and high beam lights, and they are supplemented by a module for the allweather and turning lights. A light conductor along the upper border of the headlight generates
the daytime running lights, parking lights and turn signal lights. Special illumination functions
are available for intersections, country roads, expressways and poor weather – and their
interplay with the navigation system makes their range of performance even greater.
Matrix LED headlights
The light signature of Matrix LED headlights has a characteristic focused face with a four-eyes
appearance, in which the low beam and high beam lamps look like a double-eye. All lighting
functions are implemented in LED technology. In the Audi A5, for instance, 18 LEDs project
light through two lenses to produce the high beam of the Matrix LED headlights. Based on
information from the camera mounted on the interior mirror, the LED control unit switches the
LEDs on and off individually and can also dim them over 64 steps as necessary. This enables the
Matrix LED headlights to produce several million light distribution variants. They always light
the road with the optimal distribution of a light similar to daylight, but without blinding other
road users with glare. To prevent the driver from being blinded by glare from highly reflective
traffic signs, these are specifically illuminated with reduced power.
The turning light of the Matrix LED headlights is produced by shifting the focal point of the
light. When it is employed with the optional MMI navigation plus, predictive route data enables
it to be activated even before the steering wheel is turned. The dynamic turn signals, which are
produced by a row of sequentially activated light-emitting diodes, run from the inside out
in the direction the driver is turning to send clear and intuitively understood signals to the
You can find animations on the individual technologies in the Audi Technology Portal at
Media Center
Xenon headlights
Xenon headlights are gas discharge lamps. Two tungsten electrodes are fused into a thickwalled quartz glass bulb that is filled with xenon gas, also known as the burner. A concentrated
arc of light is produced between them – a process in which the enclosed noble gas fill exerts a
pressure of up to 100 bar. The xenon gas itself lights in more of a violet hue, but metallic salts
contained in the glass bulb reduce its color temperature to 4,200 Kelvin.
Xenon headlights deliver a much brighter light and achieve better illumination of the roadway
than halogen lights with incandescent bulbs. Their energy consumption – including the energy
consumed by the ballast unit – is around 20 percent lower, and their life is much longer. Audi
offers what are known as xenon plus headlights in most models, either as an option or as
standard equipment. In this technology, a single burner generates both the low and high
beams, and they are switched by a movable shutter.
You can find animations on the individual technologies in the Audi Technology Portal at
Media Center
User operation
Buttons, controls, touchpad, voice control and intelligent search functions – the options for
user operation are extremely varied. They all aim to achieve a common goal: to guide the
driver through the highly advanced infotainment system intuitively and ergonomically.
Free text search / MMI search
Audi MMI search is available for all basic menus, and like a search engine it is based on free
text entry. It generally responds to searches after just a few letters have been input, taking into
consideration the car’s current location. When searching for a place to eat, for instance, simply
enter the name of the restaurant and the first letters of the city, and a list of hits appears
together with the addresses – this works throughout Europe. Searching for tracks, albums
and radio stations also works this way.
MMI touch
In MMI Navigation plus with MMI touch, the round rotary/push-button control on the center
console has a touch-sensitive touchpad on its top surface. The touchpad is used to input
characters and also for multifinger gestures, enabling the driver to zoom in on the map, for
example. The terminal is supplemented by rocker switches for the most important basic menus
(navigation/map, phone, radio and media), the general Menu button, the Back button and eight
user-programmable favorite buttons (model-dependent). Two more buttons to the left and
right of the rotary/push-button control provide access to the function and option menus. For
example, the driver can select the frequency band of the desired station in the Radio menu or
call up traffic information in the Map menu. With these functions and options, the driver can
get directions to an entered destination, have nearby parking places displayed or save the
destination to the Favorites list.
Some models (Audi Q7, Audi Q5 with automatic transmission) have the larger MMI all-in-touch.
It provides audible and tactile feedback after each input.
Natural language voice control
Natural language voice control understands many formulations from everyday speech. All that
is necessary to call a contact is a command such as “I want to call Peter Miller.” The navigation
system also responds to natural language inputs such as “Where can I refuel?” or “Where is the
closest Italian restaurant?” The new voice control system, which also permits dictation of text
messages, is also available without an Internet connection and works with the Radio and Media
menus too. Voice control is activated by pressing the voice control button on the steering wheel.
You can find animations on the individual technologies in the Audi Technology Portal at
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