Alongside exclusive apps from Audi, Porsche, Volkswagen and other OEMs, the store will also provide customers with in-car access to third-party content. Working in collaboration with Harman, Cariad will develop an open ecosystem for apps that drivers can use in their car’s infotainment system.
Both Cariad and Harman have already secured several partners for the app store, which will deliver an array of functions to turn cars into smart companions for drivers and occupants. The Volkswagen Group brands will also integrate its own apps, which will include online traffic light information and navigation services. Further down the line, the company will provide its customers with additional services through the app store, enabling continuous improvements.
“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,” said Dirk Hilgenberg, CEO at Cariad. “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.”
“We will offer our customers a new level of digital in-car experience, seamlessly connecting their Audi to their digital life,” explained Oliver Hoffmann, CTO of Audi. “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.”
The first Audis to be equipped will be the A4, A5, Q5, A6, A7, A8, Q8 e-tron and e-tron GT models in markets including Europe, the USA, Canada and Mexico. Additional models, brands and regions will benefit from the store at a later date.
Through its partnership with Harman, the app store integrates with the Harman Ignite Store, a solution for automotive infotainment systems, which enables the Volkswagen Group brands to maintain control of third-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,” said Huibert Verhoeven, senior vice president of digital cockpit at 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, in this first-to-market implementation we enable OEMs like Volkswagen Group to maintain control of this important emerging market while providing a stand-out in-vehicle experience for their customers.”
Due to its scalable platform approach, developers will be empowered to reach several OEMs and a wide array 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. Additionally, third-party developers will be able to update and upgrade their respective applications over the air at all times.
The first partners of the store include Spotify, Amazon Music, TuneIn, Yelp, TikTok, web browser Vivaldi and Webex by Cisco.
“With Cariad’s new platform, Spotify now feels like it’s seamlessly built into the car,” said Jonathan Tarlton, business development lead at Spotify. “Whether it’s your favorite song, podcast, or audiobook, our listeners can now soundtrack their ride in a fun and easy way.”
Jeetu Patel, EVP and GM of security and collaboration at Cisco, added, “Cisco is thrilled to partner with Harman Ignite Store and Volkswagen-Cariad to address the needs of hybrid workers. A new integration between the companies allows for seamless and safe collaboration using the Webex app when moving the vehicle to and from the office, home and everywhere in between.”