“We create unique experiences”
Mr Delucchi, when you joined Audi in 2001, what did digitisation mean to you?
Looking back, that was actually the beginning of what we now consider the age of digitisation. Back then it was still more of an industrial topic, to automate processes and workflows. But the market launch of the iPhone in 2007 was a true game changer: telephony, the actual task of a phone until then, was suddenly a secondary matter, and apps became more and more popular. It was revolutionary.
How is digitisation reflected in your professional and personal life?
Digitisation is firmly anchored in every context of my life. I have a fully networked and automated home. Meaning that I can digitally control heating, lighting systems or the robot lawn mower and vacuum cleaner, but I can also increase security. Yet, with increased complexity and an abundance of possibilities, I – and I’m sure our customers, too – have a growing desire for simplification and convenience.
“With an increased complexity there’s a growing desire for simplification.”
How do you spot current and upcoming trends with customers?
Well, firstly we get direct feedback. For this purpose, we have created a special team that represents the voice of the customers and ensures implementation by the individual product teams. Secondly, and in addition to customer feedback, we have innovation incubators within the Audi Group – such as Audi Business Innovation. This is where the mobility of the future and the opportunities offered by digitisation are closely examined. We also use traditional market research and trend analyses to determine the specific needs of our target groups.
What is expected of Audi today?
That’s a pretty complex question. First and foremost, we not only want to meet our customers’ expectations, but exceed them. Our customers expect individualised, multimodal experiences. By this I mean that it is important to provide numerous digital options so that everybody can create their own personal Audi experience. That’s why I think so highly of the idea of an Audi ecosystem. It all starts with the initial interest in the brand and the associated online touchpoints, for example via the Audi websites or the configurator. The best-case scenario would be that this leads to the purchase of a vehicle – at a dealership or online.
And this will be possible inside the vehicle as well?
Of course. The purchase or application of new digital services in the usage phase must function just as easily as the major Internet players have been demonstrating for years. It doesn’t matter if you’re inside or outside the car – that no longer makes a difference. Our goal is to lead our customers into a digital ecosystem in which all elements are interconnected in the best possible way. We want to create a unique brand experience.
What are you and your team focused on?
Our basic focus is to be competitive; we need to interconnect our vehicles and offer an attractive portfolio of digital services – with real added value. So, we are systematically building on our strengths from our core business as a premium automaker and keep expanding our digital services. Our customers lead a variety of different lifestyles. Specifically, we want to focus on four lifestyle areas and not only meet our customers’ expectations but exceed them if possible.
What are those four lifestyle areas?
We are looking at mobility, health, work and entertainment, and are creating targeted product and service offers that are connected to the Audi ecosystem. To this end, we are also consciously entering into partnerships, such as with holoride or Disney. Since the middle of the year, we have been bringing a wide range of apps to our vehicles with Audi connect. Via a digital marketplace, our customers can select their personal favourites from music, video, gaming, navigation, parking & charging, productivity, weather and news services, and use them inside the vehicle. These include Spotify and Webex. The latter is a platform that allows people to seamlessly bring their digital meeting, i.e. their working environment, into the car. In addition, however, we also offer many other services, such as Audi Themes, among others. This helps us to serve the lifestyle area “entertainment” I mentioned earlier.
What is behind the idea of Audi Themes?
Audi Themes has been available via the digital marketplace since June 2022. You can currently choose from 160 different themes in the myAudi app and have your favourite images displayed on your MMI screen in the cabin. You can also benefit from matching ambient lighting and moods if your vehicle is configured accordingly. This offers our customers a new kind of personalisation.
“We want to exceed our customers’ expectations.”
Why is holoride such an exciting feature?
Because it’s fun, and we are very proud of it indeed! With holoride, we are transforming the vehicle into an experience platform for virtual reality. Backseat passengers can interactively experience movies, video games and so much more using VR glasses approved for this purpose. Driving an Audi thus becomes a multimedia immersive experience. Video streaming via holoride will also be available inside the vehicle before the end of the year. My daughter actually uses our holoride glasses during long car rides. She’s always looking forward to it! It’s not only relaxing for the kids – but also for the parents. Thinking further ahead, the increasing automation of driving also opens up exciting possibilities for learning and working on the road.
What is happening in the lifestyle area “mobility” you mentioned earlier?
You will hear a lot about this area at the IAA Mobility that is taking place in September. At the fair we will provide an outlook on new ideas for route planning and charging electric cars. Let me give you an idea: Even today, our customers can plan their route taking charging stops into account using the Audi route planner. In the future, these stops can be linked to personal preferences and interests – a short visit to the park or a meal in a nice restaurant nearby will turn the charging time into an experience.