Vodafone Brings Embedded SIM Chip, M2M Functionality to Volkswagen and Audi 2015 Models

By Rachel Ramsey March 07, 2014

In 2012, Vodafone announced it was providing mobile SIMs into BMW ConnectedDrive vehicles, and it signed an agreement with Hyundai Motor Group to boost Hyundai’s competitiveness in telematics across Europe. Since then, it’s delivered the first connected car in India (Mahindra e2o), been selected by Volkswagen Group to provide mobile communication services for four years and has pushed for the growth of machine to machine (M2M) connectivity in vehicles. Now, Vodafone will supply an embedded SIM chip for new Volkswagen and Audi models in 2015 models in Europe.

This isn’t Audi’s first move into connected cars. In January, it partnered with AT&T to provide LTE connectivity for some Audi models, including the 2015 A3 family. Google and Audi also announced plans to develop Android-based in-car infotainment systems at the end of 2013, initiating the competition between Android and iOS in the car. (Apple recently rebranded iOS in the Car to CarPlay, and announced automakers as partners, including Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo.)

Audi also offers Audi connect, which features Google Earth satellite imagery for GPS, weather reports, fuel prices, travel information, voice-activated controls and more. The Audi S3 was the automaker’s first model to integrate a 4G-capable infotainment system in 2013, and Vodafone customers can benefit from access to the Vodafone 4G network in their vehicles.

“As a result of this agreement, we will strengthen further our position in the automotive sector – one of the key markets for M2M communication. Our efficient mobile communications networks ensure that the networked car is becoming more and more widespread, including across European national borders,” Erik Brenneis, head of Vodafone’s M2M, said in a statement.

The embedded SIM chip was specifically developed to meet automotive industry requirements, and can function at temperatures from -8 to 185 degrees Fahrenheit. In addition to SIM functionality, Vodafone offers vehicle relationship management (vRM), fleet management, usage-based insurance, safety, security and convenience, infotainment and remote diagnostics and maintenance services for the automotive industry.

One of the features the vehicles might have is the EU-wide “eCall” emergency call system, which is a part of Vodafone’s safety, security and convenience services and automatically sends out an SOS in the event of a vehicle accident. M2M technology in cars also includes Internet-based communication and infotainment systems, sensor-based safety features and usage-based insurance solutions. 

Edited by Cassandra Tucker

Content Director

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