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Audi introduces Internet-based nav

The new Audi A6 will feature Audi Online Services, a new connected car feature using a data plan to deliver traffic information.

Audi A6 nav system
The navigation system in the new A6 will integrate the Internet-based Audi Online Services. Josh Miller/CNET

With its new A6 model, Audi intends to thoroughly integrate Internet-delivered traffic, courtesy of Inrix, Google maps, and onboard routing and navigation. Launching with the name Audi Online Services, the system uses a data plan to deliver current road conditions and routing information to the navigation system.

Inrix CEO Bryan Mistele says the company's XD Traffic service will show traffic flow information for each 20 to 30 feet of covered roads, rather than current systems, which generally show mile-by-mile. This specificity makes flow information useful on surface streets with traffic lights. The Audi navigation system will use the traffic data to dynamically plan routes.

European A6's will have a slot in the head unit for a SIM card. It is common in Europe for mobile phone users to get cloned copies of their SIM cards for other devices. In the U.S., data will come into the car through a Bluetooth-connected smartphone with a data plan.

Along with up-to-date traffic information, Audi Online Services will also let drivers use Google local search to find nearby points-of-interest (POI). This search system allows broader search terms than typical in-car POI databases.

After the A6, Audi will deploy Audi Online Services in the A8, the A4, and the Q7.