After a successful pilot scheme, premium automaker Audi is introducing around-the-clock digital car servicing and rental stations across its native Germany.
The service stations, the first of their kind in the automotive space will allow Audi owners to bring their cars in for a service or collect them again at any time, day or night, whether or not a dealership or Audi servicing facility is actually open, or to avoid physical queues when dealerships are experiencing their busiest periods.
"Digital service check-in helps us to reduce service bottlenecks and gives the Audi dealership's service advisors more time to spend with customers," said Raimund Thomandl, Audi's Head of Service Germany. "The Audi Service Station saves the dealership time while offering customers added convenience and flexibility."
Once an owner has booked in their car for servicing either online or over the phone, they can then use the automated system to drop the car off. When servicing is finished, owners are notified via text message and they can pick up the car at a time that suits them.
As well as booking and paying for a service or collecting the car afterwards, the system can be used to rent an Audi.
In recent months premium automotive brands have been increasingly looking to technology as a means of improving the ownership experience.
And whether the service is for concierge refueling as with Bentley, or Volvo and Mercedes' pilot schemes for letting drivers specify their cars as delivery addresses for parcels, the intention behind them is the same, to return time to owners that would otherwise be lost. And this is crucial, because soon, according to the automotive industry, time will be the greatest of all luxuries.
As for Audi, it will start rolling out the network across Germany this month. It initially plans 30 such stations at dealerships around the country.