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L.E.D Goeun Shin Daoxiang Zhang Ramsankar Muraleedharan Sarang Ganoo

the audi a_way: re-inventing the way you travel

contents what is a_way? background service diagram business plan roll-out

what is a_way?

* Conceptual Render


a_way extends the audi experience beyond your car to a customised, unique way to travel and lodge.

Every car is made to transport people across destinations. Individual offerings vary, as do amenities and stylings tailored for specific user demands. This is also taken further to knit communities and user-driven activities around the automobile. But, is just selling cars enough? What more? A_way powers the user to travel unrestrained and hassle-free. Its a service designed for the modern day traveller who mixes business with pleasure and likes to go on active, spontaneous sojourns. The service is seamlessly integrated into the Audi A1 and simplifies every travel need from lodging to activities, entertainment and relaxation in a single, personal interface.

It all starts with the user getting his personal ID on the purchase of the A1 and specifying his preferences to Audi. These are synced to his user profile and recognised on the event of a user-request/ action. Inside the car, the infotainment section is expanded with an a_way menu which serves as the single access point to all a_way services. So, when the user decides to travel somewhere, he accesses the a_way menu and selects a destination. The display then shows available a_stations to choose from. The a_station is a physical extension of the Audi experience. Its a unique, personal space where the user stays with the car, under one roof. It provides

a range of default and contextspecific services from cycling to skiing and golf. The infotainment in the A1 is also extended to the space with state-of-the-art display and sound settings. All you need is to dock-in. The a_stations are available at exclusive locations handpicked for their natural splendour. They provide you with route and event recommendations and great places to dine. And, no more advance bookings or complicated travel itineraries; just the Audi A1.



Behind every innovation lies a contagious idea. In the case of a_way, we wanted to re-invent the automobile as a living space in motion. Sounded so simple in a line, but with every passing phase we were posed with increasingly critical challenges. The initial idea was to have a convertible space inside the car where the user could rest during the night. The car itself would be docked into different motels providing the service and would include basic amenities for the traveller. But, there was a problem. Who would sleep inside the car after a long drive? And, who possibly could sleep in an A1? Much thought went into the


matter and we tried to envision a space, powered by the A1, yet not constrained in space or scope and all the while – easy to access. Thus came along, the a_station. The a_station was inspired by various current and emerging trends, and needs of the modern day traveller. Four specific of these, reported by World Travel Monitor across 2008-11, came to be integrally associated with a_way. We found these highly relevant with regard to the target A1 customer group and the brand values that Audi personifies.

* ITB World Travel Trends, 2010/11.

2008 2009

1-3 Nights



1-3Nts. Nights 1-3

4+Nts. Nights 4+

t Increasing short breaks

t Smart hotels and Tourist 2.0

t Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability

In the smart hotel of the future, guests could check in and enter their 4+ Nights room using a PIN code or biometric authentification. Rooms could be designed to integrate various functions and technologies, and have interactive features such as intelligent ‘energy beds’, large interactive displays or workspaces.

LOHAS is a new social phenomenon that is recognised as new premium target group in tourism. These are consumers who live in an informed, ethical manner, especially with regard to health, and social and environmental issues. They think global, are very mobile and open-minded.

The number of trips of one to three nights rose by 9% in 2008 and a further 1% in 2009, resulting in 28% market-share. Meanwhile, the number The environment could of longer trips of four even be individual2008 2008 2009 2009 nights and more fell by ised for each guest or 10% to 285 million, or a situation using his or her share of 72%. profile.

Estimates of them in Western countries vary widely, with figures reporting 5–30% of the adult population.

Germany Germany

Italy Italy Long haul Haul Long

Austria Austria

Rest of World Europe

t The case of German tourists In Germany, about 20% of the population can be identified as LOHAs and they travel mostly within Germany and Europe. Most of their trips are beach holidays and short holidays, followed by cultural trips, active holidays (sports, hiking) and wellness breaks.


service diagram





Post-Travel Billing

Monthly Bills


On Dock Out

Office/Games/ Bicycle Dock In

Dock Out a_station

Park In

a_way hotels

Access hotel services


Park Out

The service diagram skims through the main touchpoints and functions offered under a_way. Each of the major phases are demonstrated in following sections, based on the example of visiting Munich.

prominence and sharp increase in hotel values. HVS London in their 2011 release estimates the growth value at 15%, which is high above the European average. The value of the room at â‚Ź222,600 is also the highest in Germany. Also, Ingolstadt, where Audi is headquartered is very close by. We also went further to select a quintessential location for the a_station in the picturesque GroĂ&#x;seeham, 41.8 km southeast of Munich.

The city was chosen for its long standing cultural




A_way will be included by default on every A1 purchase. When the user customises car features and styling, he will also be asked to provide preferences for the first trip. This can include personal choices about food, drinks, activities and interests.

Each user will receive a unique personal ID which will be a ubiquitous passport to all a_way services. An identifier will also be embedded n the bottom of the car for detection at the a_station. User data, including billing information, such as, online banking accounts and credit cards will be synced to the database and would remain accessible via the car infotainment system and external devices.




Unlike the different modes of lodging, a_way doesn’t require the user to make advance bookings and pre-specify duration of stay. Docking is possible upto 3 nights before the desired date and a duration of maximum 4 nights. This helps keep the spirit of A1 alive and deters long queues.


The whole process can be done through the a_way menu installed in the A1. The menu provides an instant and simplified booking experience, while retaining all the necessary information, including geographical locations and specific services. It’s also possible customise the services available on docking. Alternatively, this can be done online via external devices such as cell phones.



After docking via the a_way interface, the user is guided to the a_station by the built-in navigation. Maps are now extended with dedicated icons hovering above the a_stations and a_way hotels. A unique red nav-route also appears on the map to guide the user to the docked a_station. The a_station is a physical manifestation of the Audi experience. It’s realised as space where the user co-exists with the car, under one roof. The space itself is powered by the A1 and comes to life only when it has been docked-in.


Two kinds of services are available: default and contextual. Default services include bikes, work space and kitchenette. Contextual services are available based on the location, like, equipment for rafting, golf and skiing. Also, multiple a_stations are provided at a location with an inter-connected common space comprising a café for encouraging community spirit and making the stay more fun. A_stations are ideally constructed in scenic locales at a convenient distance from the city – like Großseeham, 41.8 km south-east of Munich. It has a quaint natural setting with small cottages and woods scattered around a beautiful lake. The Alps are also at a beckoning distance.

* Conceptual Renderi



When the car reaches the a_station the automated system recognises the user by detecting the personal identifier embedded on the bottom of the car and the door is opened. The car glides in and slowly comes to a halt with a slight bump at the stopper. The a_station logo on the floor flares up, with the Audi signature playing in the background and the dock bursts to life. Ready to go!


A_station provides the user with gratification of all senses. Once dockedin, as the user steps out of the car, he is greeted with a refreshing aroma diffused across the interior.

It is equipped with stateof-the-art infotainment facilities including a large mounted display, BOSE速 Surround System and work-spaces with basic stationery and web connectivity. All the media stored in the car can be streamed to the multimedia equipment and provides a seamless integration of existing playlists, favourite radio stations and more. A_station also provides great route suggestions for biking and car, events, places to dine and more!




All the automated functions inside the a_station is controlled by means of a signature device. Dubbed the controller, the device can be used to access information, multimedia and lighting controls. It is placed on a stand before the display for instant visibility.

There are two levels inside the a_station. The lower one has a kitchenette, couches and requested sporting equipment. Bikes are mounted by default on the wall by the docking point for easy access. Other equipment like golf kits and skis are mounted accordingly. Once docked-in all the doors are accessible by using the car key. The upper-level hosts the bed and a gaming hub complete with transparent glass flooring amidst LED strips. The space is aligned just above the docking point to give a

top view of the car and is equipped with PlayStation and motion sensors. Lighting in an a_station is implemented with minimal energy usage in line with sustainable living policies. The large glass-panelled anterior is a major contributor in this aspect by enabling the interior to be lit during the day with minimal electrical lighting. It also offers a great view to the vast greenery outside, and has a sliding exit for users to stroll and rest on the wooden panelled platform extending beyond.



The process of docking-out is as simple as docking-in. When the user starts the car, the display will pose a question as to whether he is docking-out or not. If a short trip is intended, one can opt not to dock-out and just exit. In the other case, the lights will fade out and a sound will be played. Meanwhile, the docking point will raise at an angle, allowing the car to slide to prevent firing the engine inside the dock and blasting exhaust. The display also asks whether the user want to pay the bills now, or later via monthly bills. The user has now docked out of the GroĂ&#x;seeham a_station and can continue his jouney to the ravishing Grossglockner Alpine Track suggested by the a_station.



A_stations are supplemented by a_way hotels which offer a strippeddown a_way experience. Its mainly for companies and professionals who are always on the move and is offered in partnership with hotels. Docking is done by means of a dedicated parking space. No flagship services alike the a_station are available, but the infotainment system complete with the controller are present.





In a service like a_way that has a unique and exclusive user community, the experience after the trip is also highly vital. Users should feel at home with the service and the Audi brand values of excellence and sophistication also needs to be exercised. A_way takes care of these with its unique billing format and mileage service. As previously mentioned, there is no check-in or check-out in a_way. Users can dock in and out freely and human assistance is provided only on request. The whole system is automated.

cially useful for companies as they need handle only a single bill in place of multiple instances. In the event of payment on dock-out, the billing information provided on registration is used. The mileage service is intended to encourage frequent travel as users are gifted bonus points on each dock-out. This is calculated based on the services availed and duration of stay. On gaining a pre-set number of points, users will also attain priority status. They will be gifted exclusive Audi merchandise and free stays.

Billing is also done in a similar fashion. Users have two options to pay bills: on dock-out or a cumulative monthly bill. The monthly billing option is espe-


Business Plan

Investments t t t t t t

Property Development Facilities Equipment Maintenance Human Resources Promotion

Immaterial Benefits t Brand Promotion t Venue for events like product launches and test drives. t Tangible Brand Experience t Customer Intimacy t Offering expansion to new services.


Material Returns t Billing Revenue t Merchandise Sales t CafĂŠ Sales


A_way should be first introduced by means of flagship a_stations. The structural and conceptual framework should remain as described, but the actual designs are best done in partnership with renowned architects and designers. It is advisable to roll-out the service in Germany, probably near Munich. The initial expansion is also better based in Central and Northern Europe.

After initially constructing 3-4 a_stations, the service could be gradually expanded by a_way hotels. For starting this, partner hotel chains should be sought. The investments for this part would be minimal. Once the service gains momentum, user opinion should also be considered in choosing locales and contextual services. Fun game and racing events should also be

regularly held on-spot to keep the community spirit alive and flourishing. Once deemed successful, a_way should be extended to include other models like A8, TT and so on...


Audi A_way  

© Ram Sankar.

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