Audi's Interest in W3C Web and Automotive

Burkhard Mayer
Systems Engineer Audi connect, BFFT Engineering GmbH - on behalf of AUDI AG
Dr. Matthias Bezold
Senior Software Engineer Infotainment, GmbH - on behalf of AUDI AG
Nils Oppermann
Predevelopment Audi connect, AUDI AG
Thomas Rottach
Senior Software Engineer Web Services, jambit GmbH - on behalf of AUDI AG

Participant's interest

Audi, as a world-wide automotive manufacturer in the premium segment, believes in "Vorsprung durch Technik" and we are thus aware of the necessity to offer connectivity to our customers. In 2009 Audi was hence one of the first OEMs to offer integrated mobile broadband access via an in-car WLAN hotspot.

In todays highly mobile world, Audi connect brings networked infotainment and vehicle services to our drivers. Seamless integration of services like voice-enabled Google POI search and Google Earth is the key to achieve high usability and reduce driver distraction to a minimum. Audis web-enabled services thus integrate with the native user interface such as the touch wheel and the speech dialogue system.

Already today, Audis solution for the flexible integration of web services with the native user interface relies on open web standards such as HTML, XML and State Chart XML (SCXML) to facilitate interoperability. Todays solution builds mainly on interpreted SCXML for performance and security reasons. Rendering of HTML and JavaScript is supported by an embedded browser engine, but still kept to a minimum.

Audi is interested in supporting the W3C initiative to integrate technology standards of the web and automotive industries in order to strengthen the trust in emerging technologies and accelerate the market adoption of an entertaining, safe and connected car.

Point of View

The HTML5 suite of specifications creates exciting new opportunities to bring the power and potential of the Web to the car. HTML5 promises flexible, platform-independent integration of new services on the one side and a broad ecosystem of development standards and tools which set a low entry hurdle on the other.

Even though the success of HTML5 is undeniable, the automotive industry still lacks trust and confidence in this technology. For the lack of a ratified web standard (esp. one for automotive manufacturers) HTML 5 is still not perceived as a reliable solution, but as a work-in-progress product. Also, sometimes "over-buzzed", HTML5 is unlikely to be a single solution to all challenges of automotive web services but could rather prove to be one substantial building block.

In the past, the automotive industry did not feel the primary need to actively participate in the development of web technologies. Nowadays, our customers become increasingly aware of the advantages gained from connected mobility. Including automotive manufacturers in the process of improving the semantics, efficiency, usability and interoperability of web development will ensure the compatibility with the automotive demands.

As a standards organization, the W3C has done an excellent job at promoting a standard-compliant community. It's an excellent time to share our perspectives and requirements of tomorrow's cars in order to establish a common agreement and prevent the proliferation of in-house solutions.


Being part of a workshop bringing all market players together willing to exchange their experiences, will be a fructuous starting point.

We would like to explore security mechanisms, including privilege management, and ways to excite Web developers to write applications for cars.

We look forward to participating in the workshop to explore and define next steps which are appropriate for the connected car ecosystem.

We hope the result of this workshop is the creation of a place in W3C for those with interest to help shape Web standards to make the connected car another vibrant part of the Web community.

Further Reading

Audi connect
Audi connect services - Daten auf der Autobahn