- Joining me now is Henrik Wenders, from Audi. Henrik, thank you so much for joining me today.

- Thank you very much for having me. Thank you.

- All right, let's talk about, Audi. Incredible booths at CES year in and year out, always showing off futuristic vehicles, technology that's ready for production. What are you sharing with the world at this year CES 2021?

- First and foremost, happy new year to everyone. Thank you very much for having Audi in the team as well. As you all know, Audi was the first automotive exhibitor at CES 11 years ago. So this is why it's so important to us to be part of the CES 2021 as well. This year, we are going to share something which is right in front of the door. Last year, we shared the concept eco. So we looked far into the future with the Audi AI:ME. And this year we are going to share something very special because it's an electric vehicle of the next generation. It's our Audi E-Tron GT in form of a prototype which is going to be performing for you guys. And in addition to the beauty, we are going to have some experts with us. We're going to share those details with regards to design, powertrain, and so on and so forth.

- All right now, Henrik, I'm gonna be honest, with this pandemic, my car has sat largely unused in my driveway for the past nine months. What has that taught you at Audi about car ownership and how people view their cars, especially in a time of pandemic?

- Actually, I would say the perception of cars in general didn't change because the interest in mobility didn't change. The interest in individual mobility did not change. What changed is, of course, the decision-making process with regards to buying a car and by selecting mobility. So of course our existing online channels and opportunities have been further increased and reached a different level in terms of perception. So we do have online podcasts. We do have live video presentations. So VR goggles, we are able to present the car virtually to the audience. We do hold virtual press conferences, meetings like this all of this is taking place in a virtual format. So it increased the development with regards to digital communication channels, I would say. But with regards to the position and the role and the importance of individual mobility and the equals and costs I would say the pandemic didn't change this, fortunately.

- Yeah. I mean, don't get me wrong. Believe me, I want to drive. I want to be back behind that wheel. It's just not that many places to go right now.

- Very good to hear.

- All right. So let's talk about some more of the technology. You talked about your prototype car. Last year was a futuristic prototype. This year, you said you're bringing it a little bit closer to reality?

- Yes, exactly. The E-Tron GT is going to be presented to the world in February. So in the upcoming weeks. And so the performance and the presentation we are going to share at CES tomorrow is actually a sneak preview so that the audience is getting a first insight. How is our interpretation of the next decade of informative for mobility and sports car performance looking like, already firsthand? So the E-Tron GT will be the first milestone and entering a new era of the zero emission driving experience because it is our duty to leverage our competence with regards to technology, to provide solutions and developing the society forward in a sustainable manner.

- You know, one of the questions I get with the electric cars and the you know, autonomous as we get more autonomy with our cars. People want to still have that control over driving. Do you see that ever going away?

- I think it depends on the situation you are in as an individual. Because we do know already about the very comfortable assistance services which we use on highways and freeways. So the autopilot functions, they are in still production, costs in being integrated already. And we are getting used to this already. When it comes to urban traffic, very condensed traffic situations, I assume that the human mankind is quite interested in controlling the situation herself or himself. But we do see how the digitalization is providing more and more opportunities. And we do see the velocity in terms technology development and with 5G, the multiplication of hundred times of the data transfer capacity followed by 6G. I can foresee that we will see many more use cases in place where, the audience is going to appreciate the relevant service and it's going to make use of the relevant functionality. So I do see this not as a binary formula. So from flipping the switch from zero to one I do see this as a gradual development and also a gradual acceptance by the users out there.

- All right and now Audi, of course, we saw one of the early adopters of connected car technology. So you guys have been on the cutting edge with that. Henrik Wenders, thanks so much for joining me today, of Audi. Try to stay warm there. I know it's a little cold where you are today.

- All right. I'll try my best.


 

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