Audi, the luxury car company in the Volkswagen Group, has announced it will upgrade older models of its cars in South Africa using its new “connect plug-and-play” technology.

Designed to serve Audi drivers with vehicles from model year 2008 and onwards that do not have Audi connect installed, the upgrades will be performed for free at Audi dealerships.

The technology connects the vehicle with the owner’s smartphone to provide a range of digital services. More recent Audi models already offer this, with the new offering aimed at cars that didn’t ship with the technology preinstalled the factory.

With real-time vehicle data, Audi connect plug and play turns the car into a connected vehicle. “The retrofit solution offers diverse connectivity features and benefits for older vehicles,” the company said in a statement. The in-car solution is paired via Bluetooth to a smartphone app.

The solution offers drivers of older-model Audi cars:

  • Car data, including mileage, fuel levels and vehicle identification number);
  • Evaluation of their driving style;
  • Service appointments;
  • Roadside assistance in the case of a breakdown;
  • Automated recording of car location; and
  • An automated connection to their selected dealer

“The Audi connect plug and play device (hardware) and mobile phone app (software) are required to digitally connect customers with their vehicles, and in turn connect them to their preferred service providers. The registered Audi dealership will then be digitally equipped to communicate with the Audi driver timeously about service intervals and potentially other offers on hand,” Audi said.