Audi has announced that the third generation of its infotainment system (MIB 3) will arrive in most 2021 vehicles starting this autumn. The biggest upgrades are to the hardware, which includes a chipset that is 10 times faster than the MIB 2 technology, but there’s a significant number of new features users will want to know about.
The list of models expected to receive MIB 3 features includes: Audi A4, A5, A6, A7, A8, Q3 (late arrival), Q5, Q7 and Q8, with other models to be announced at a later date. Pricing and a complete features list will be available at a later date.
Verizon has become Audi’s wireless internet provider.
If you want to use your car’s Wi-Fi hot spot to surf the web, you’ll need to have a data plan through Verizon. No other provider is available. If you already have a plan through Verizon, you may be able to amend your plan to include the addition of the vehicle hot spot rather than setting up a separate account.
The new LTE Advanced Pro modem is rated for up to 1 Gbps download speed.
The new modem allows for gigabit internet. That means that the hardware is capable of transmitting and receiving up to 1 gigabyte (GB) of data every second. Consider that the average portable Verizon Wi-Fi hot spot is capable of speeds of just 600 mbps, that’s 60-percent of the capability of the new modem.
MIB 3 runs on a new Linux-based operating system.
Photo courtesy of Audi AG
Linux is the foundation for many operating systems. Subaru adopted automotive grade Linux for its 2020 Outback and Legacy, the first models in the company’s lineup to feature tablet-style infotainment screens.
Up to eight devices can be connected.
While some early mobile hot spots could connect one, two, three, or four devices, the newest models can link to eight or more. The newest offering from Audi allows for up to eight devices to connect at once. It’s important to remember that, like your home modem, that the more devices that are connected at the same time, the more divided up the bandwidth, slowing the connection speed for each device.
A variety of bandwidth options are available.
In-vehicle Wi-Fi hot spots are available to be activated in a variety of bandwidth options. There’s the Care base level, and a mid grade Prime package. The Prime package is optimized for audio streaming and remote working applications, meaning its bandwidth is a percentage of the modem’s full capability. Upping to the Plus package allows customers to take advantage of the full bandwidth capability.
It has high-definition voice communication technology.
With the new high-high-definiition voice communication technology, the system is able to understand more nuanced, conversational, and natural speech.
SiriusXM with 360L has been added.
Photo courtesy of Audi AG
Ram was the first to debut SiriusXM with 360L but its time as the only automaker with the technology is up. For the 2021 model year, most models will have the tech as available or standard. The new SiriusXM offering expands the listening experience of the SiriusXM satellite radio system, adding more than 10,000 hours of on-demand content including exclusive interviews, live and in-studio concerts and smart “For You” content recommendations.
According to Audi, “‘For You’ allows listeners to easily discover more content based on their listening habits. For college and professional sports events, SiriusXM with 360L allows the listener to easily find the game he or she may want and, in most cases, choose between home and away broadcasts. Individual vehicle profiles allow multiple drivers and passengers to customize and maintain their own vehicle favorites.”
The new MyAudi app has a digital storefront.
Audi has improved the MyAudi app to offer several key improvements. The marketplace now gives owners the ability to purchase in-car features and new, more flexible subscription plans.
The app also allows for a more simplified registration and payment process for Audi connect Care, Prime, and Plus subscriptions.
Function on Demand gives navigation now with plans to add more functionality in the future.
Function on Demand gives Audi owners the ability to purchase vehicle functions through the MyAudi marketplace. Navigation can be purchased for 2020 and 2021 A4 and A5 Premium or Premium Plus models not factory-equipped. Additional features are expected to be announced at a later date.
Maps are updated monthly.
In the previous generation of Audi infotainment systems, the navigation system maps would be updated quarterly. In the MIB3 system, the maps will be updated monthly in Audi models equipped with navigation.
Amazon Alexa is more widely available.
Audi introduced Amazon Alexa in the 2019 Audi E-Tron and has expanded it throughout their SUV and car lineup. The new system will include Amazon Alexa and further expand the technology into the Audi model line.
There’s new hybrid digital radio.
Photo courtesy of Audi AG
Hybrid digital radio allows listeners to enjoy their favorite terrestrial radio station once they drive out of the signal’s
For terrestrial FM or HD FM radio listeners on the go, hybrid digital radio allows them to continue listening to the same channel even after driving outside of the channel’s range. Either automatically or by request, once the hybrid radio senses a weak radio signal, it will switch to the online, digital version of the same channel. Conversely, the channel will switch back from a digital to a radio signal when it senses better reception.
Upon cycling a vehicle off and on again, the digital radio station will continue to play.
Availability of the Integrated Toll Module has been expanded.
The mirror-based toll payment solution provides accents to select toll road services across the country, eliminating the need for one of the traditional, large toll responder tags to be mounted to the car’s license plate holder or windscreen. The technology was first introduced in the 2019 Audi E-Tron and Q7 and is being added to the Q5, Q8, A4, A5, A6, A7 and A8 in 2021.