CARIAD launched on 1st March’23 an application store in cars of the Volkswagen Group brands. Audi is the first brand to integrate the store in selected models from July 2023. In addition to exclusive apps from Audi, Porsche, Volkswagen and other brands, the store will give customers in-car access to content provided by third parties.
CARIAD is working with HARMAN to create an open ecosystem for apps that drivers can use in their cars’ infotainment systems.
CARIAD and HARMAN have already secured numerous partners for the application store. Whether music & video, gaming, navigation, parking & charging, weather apps or remote work – the store offers essential and popular functions that turn the car into a smart companion for drivers. In addition, the Volkswagen Group brands will integrate their own apps, such as online traffic light information or navigation services. In future, they can also offer their customers additional services via the store. As a result, customers will experience a car that will always be improving through frequent updates, be it through third-party apps, or compelling and innovative CARIAD offerings.
The store launch marks an important deliverable for CARIAD: “Our new store for digital apps is the first major milestone in CARIAD’s year of delivery. It is the result of a great collaboration between Audi, CARIAD and HARMAN,” says CARIAD CEO Dirk Hilgenberg. “We will take the in-car experience to the next level – by integrating the digital world of the Volkswagen Group’s customers seamlessly into the car. Our Group application store already allows a first glimpse on a completely new infotainment stack: The store will be part of the ‘One.Infotainment’ system in the premium software for the next generation of Porsche and Audi models.”
Starting in summer 2023 Audi will integrate the application store in selected models. “Audi is the first brand in the Volkswagen Group to introduce the Group Application Store in its vehicles. We will offer our customers a new level of digital in-car experience, seamlessly connecting their Audi to their digital life. As our Group-wide software supplier, CARIAD has provided a scalable solution with the Group Application Store, which we at Audi have adapted specifically for our products. This ability as a team to scale software solutions across different market segments represents an important milestone on our roadmap,” said Oliver Hoffmann, CTO of Audi. First, Audi will equip the Audi A4, A5, Q5, A6, A7, A8, Q8 e-tron and e-tron GT in Europe, USA, Canada, Mexico and Overseas markets with the new store. Later it will be rolled out to further models and regions as well as to other Volkswagen Group brands.
For the application store, CARIAD has teamed up with HARMAN, an automotive electronics technology company focused on designing consumer experiences at automotive grade. The application store integrates with the HARMAN Ignite Store, a solution for automotive infotainment systems, which allows the Volkswagen Group brands to maintain control of 3rd party content, the user experience and the primary relationship with the end user. “We are delighted to collaborate with CARIAD to provide a solution that will usher in a new era of third-party innovation for automotive,” says Huibert Verhoeven, Senior Vice President, Digital Cockpit, HARMAN. “HARMAN Ignite Store removes the heavy lifting required for third-party developers to adapt their content and services for automotive. At the same time, we enable OEMs like Volkswagen Group in this first-to-market implementation, to maintain control of this important emerging market while providing a stand-out in-vehicle experience for their customers.”
The application store provides a rich set of third-party automotive apps written specifically for automotive and adapted to existing mobile applications to meet automotive requirements. Thanks to a scalable platform approach, developers will be empowered to reach several OEMs and a vast number of Volkswagen Group vehicles via the application store without additional adjustments. The store consistently ensures that the applications in the vehicle meet the high safety requirements of the automotive industry. Third-party developers will also be able to seamlessly update and upgrade their applications over the air at any time.
The list of apps for the CARIAD store will be continuously extended. The first partners of the store include for example: the streaming services Spotify, Amazon Music, TuneIn, Tidal, Tubi, the weather provider The Weather Channel Gaming Hub FRVR, POI service Yelp, Stingray Karaoke, social media service TikTok, Parkwhiz, charging app Plugshare, the smart home platform Home Assistant, open web browser Vivaldi, and the collaboration app Webex by Cisco.