Audi telematic system to pay wirelessly for parkings
Audi is extending its Audi connect services, thus further promoting networking between car, driver and infrastructure. The trial phase for “Audi connect wireless payment” is currently getting underway in Ingolstadt. The solution allows drivers to conveniently pay for parking from their car.
It tends to be the small tasks that cause the greatest inconvenience on a daily basis – the cumbersome task of paying for parking, for instance: Developers were dissatisfied that drivers have to firstly collect a parking ticket, and then go looking for a ticket machine later.
The new “Audi connect wireless payment” convenience service can now provide a solution to this problem. In a wide-ranging pilot which is now being launched in Ingolstadt, the new technology will first be tested and the acceptance of the service proven in practice over the next few months. Up to 13,000 cars will participate. The aim is to integrate wireless payment as an Audi connect service in the car in the future, along the lines of the customer-friendly navigation service with Google Earth and Google Street View that is already available now.
During the trial phase, the parking facilities and the car communicate with each other via an RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) transmitter. For this purpose, a wireless transponder is mounted on the inside of the car windshield. The parking lot user must register for the service once via an online portal using the car’s transmitter number.
The Ingolstadt Economic Development Agency (IFG Ingolstadt) provides this service. It operates nine parking lots and underground parking garages in the city, with a total of 6,200 spaces and 21 entrances and exits. The trial participants will receive a monthly bill from IFG detailing any parking charges incurred. The amount is then debited from the user’s account by means of a direct debit mandate.
All Audi employees who lease a new car in the coming months are able to participate at the start of the trial. When the car is handed over, they receive the “Audi connect wireless payment starter kit”, including a wireless tag. All parking lot users in Ingolstadt will be able to reap the benefits of the new system by the end of this year.
It sounds obvious to pay more and more things wirelessly like highway fees, or parking, using a smartphone or whatever device. However, what is the most important in such a solution is the infrastructure. Without major investments from the cities or collectivities, those telematics technologies cannot apply. Will the cities invest in such an infrastructure short-term speaking?