Audi On Demand lets you order up an R8 with your iPhone

Audi On Demand
You may need a sensible sedan or SUV during the week, but what if you could trade it for a sports car on the weekend, and then give that car back before the fuel bills and speeding tickets start piling up?

That’s what the new Audi On Demand service claims to offer. The German carmaker will introduce short-term rentals in San Francisco as part of a beta program, and hopes to launch the service nationwide if it proves successful.

Using an iPhone app, customers will be able to reserve an Audi by the day for up to 28 days, and have the car delivered to a spot of their choosing. The app locks and unlocks the doors, and enables driving.

Unlike other manufacturer-operated car-sharing services, such as Daimler’s Car2Go and BMW’s DriveNow, Audi brings the car to the customer rather than directing them to a parking spot. The service even comes with a “concierge” who will help individual drivers get settled in the cars.

Audi will deliver cars curbside, to driveways, or to private parking lots. Customers can choose between picking up the cars themselves, or having the service leave a car at a certain location so it’s waiting when they arrive.

The list of available cars appears to include virtually everything in Audi’s lineup, from the A4 sedan to the R8 supercar. All On Demand cars have the higher-level Premium Plus trim, along with SiriusXM satellite radio and the carmaker’s MMI Navigation Plus.

When a user chooses a car on the app, they’ll get the exact same one delivered – right down to the color. Audi will also offer accessories like child seats, ski racks, and bike racks.

Audi is already selecting users for the San Francisco beta program, and it’s even got another car-sharing scheme in the works.

The firm previously discussed adding cars as an amenity to high-end condos, and it now appears to be moving ahead with those plans with a service called Audi At Home.

Set to launch in certain “premium condominium complexes,” Audi At Home will give residents access to a fleet of Audi vehicles, which they can rent by the hour using their smartphones.

These services, along with the Audi Unite pilot program in Sweden, show Audi’s clear intent to get in on the car-sharing business.

With existing car-sharing services making car ownership unnecessary for many people, it’s not surprising that a manufacturer would want to get involved. Audi needs to maintain a business model no matter how people are using its cars.

Cars

Tesla given go-ahead to start deliveries of Model 3 to Europe

Tesla has been given the green light to start deliveries of its Model 3 electric sedan to Europe, giving it the chance to compete more effectively with the likes of BMW, Audi, and Mercedes-Benz in the region's premium car market.
Cars

Tesla cuts workforce by 7 percent, ends referral program to trim costs

Tesla has announced plans to trim its workforce by seven percent, and it will end the referral program that rewards customers who help it sell cars. These measures are ways to cut costs and boost profits.
Home Theater

Cutting the cord? Let us help you find the best service for live TV streaming

There's a long list of live TV streaming services available to help you cut the cord and replace your traditional TV subscription. Each is different in important ways, and this guide will help you find the best one for you.
Mobile

The Note 8 and S8 range now have access to the Android Pie beta

Android 9.0 Pie has been released. But is your phone getting Android 9.0 Pie, and if so, when? We've done the hard work and asked every device manufacturer to see when their devices would be getting the update.
Cars

Michigan OKs digital license plates with Rplate’s connected car platform

The state of Michigan approved the use of digital license plates on motor vehicles registered in the state. Reviver Auto, the manufacturer of the Rplate connected car platform, worked with Michigan's Department of State to pass the bill.
Cars

This Chevy Silverado pickup truck is made from more than 300,000 Lego bricks

To promote The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part, Lego and Chevrolet teamed up on a life-size replica of the automaker's Silverado pickup truck made from more than 300,000 plastic bricks.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: camera with A.I. director, robot arm assistant

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Cars

Prices for using Tesla Supercharging just skyrocketed

Tesla is updating their Supercharging pricing based on local electricity rates and customer demand, which has lead to an increase in charging costs by as much as 33 percent in some regions.
Cars

Can electric motors finally make three-wheeled cars great?

Every few years, someone tries to sell a three-wheeled vehicle to Americans. Historically, it hasn’t gone very well. We’ve got our suspicions about why people don’t buy trikes, and they boil down to this: a trike is just not a real…
Outdoors

Is Uber planning to put its self-driving tech into bikes and scooters?

Uber reportedly has its eye on building autonomous electric bikes and scooters that ride to a user when summoned by an app. The technology could also be used to make its two-wheelers safer with obstacle avoidance systems.
Cars

Someone just paid supercar money for the very first 2020 Toyota Supra

The 2020 Toyota Supra made its long-awaited debut at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show. The resurrected sports car, famous for a role in The Fast and the Furious, goes on sale in the U.S. this summer.
Cars

Lincoln’s stately, limited-edition flagship sedan sells out in a month

The 1961 Lincoln Continental became a design icon thanks to center-opening "coach doors" (also known as "suicide doors"). Lincoln is bringing those doors back for a special edition of the 2019 Continental.
Cars

Volkswagen is planning a tougher challenge for its all-electric I.D. R

The Volkswagen I.D. R electric race car will head to the Nürburgring for a lap-record attempt. Volkswagen will reportedly aim to set the quickest lap time ever by an electric car with the I.D. R.
Home Theater

Report: Spotify preparing to launch $100 in-car streaming device

According to a report, people familiar with Spotify's plans say the company is readying a dedicated in-car music streamer that will cost $100. It will work with any Bluetooth-enabled audio system and can be controlled by voice.