Audi infotainment touchscreens primed for a big boost in 2021 models

May 12, 2020

When they arrive later this year, most new 2021 Audi vehicles will get a significant power bump—at least, behind the touchscreen.

This week, Audi announced it would include in most of its 2021 models an upgraded version of its infotainment system, which is called MIB 3.

The system, which operates behind the scenes and controls vehicle functions, radio, navigation, climate control, and more, will be more responsive and up to 10 times faster than previous systems. According to Audi, the system can turn on some features not purchased new with the vehicle—such as navigation for 2021 A4 and 2021 A5 models not originally equipped with navigation—and can deliver over-the-air system upgrades more frequently. Audi said it would deliver map updates monthly, instead of quarterly, for example.

Audi also will equip its vehicles with faster cellular data modems, up to 1 GB download speeds, with data services provided by Verizon. Audi will offer three data packages with the new system: Care, Prime, and Plus, with the latter two options available via subscription packages purchased from Audi. According to Audi spokesman Jacob Brown, the Prime package will include unlimited wi-fi for a fee with download speeds to support only music streaming and remote work apps. Audi's Plus package will offer download speeds up to 1 GB, best suited for browsing and multiple devices.

Audi MIB 3

Audi MIB 3

In addition to faster internet connectivity, the new hardware supports enhanced satellite radio streams that can download on-demand music, digital radio that can hand off when the station's signal is too weak, Amazon Alexa compatibility, and integrated toll transponders.

The new hardware will be Linux-based, unlike the outgoing Blackberry QNX hardware on older models.

Models equipped with MIB 3 for 2021 include the Audi A4, A5, A6, A7, A8, Q3, Q5, Q7, and Q8.

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