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Audi AG developing automotive driver health as new business area; leveraging digitalization, connected vehicles

Audi AG has become a founding partner in Berlin’s “Flying Health Incubator”, a center supporting startups that develop digital innovations in the healthcare sector. The investment highlights Audi’s interest in developing “automotive health”—enhancing the customer’s health and fitness while driving—as a new business area. With the Audi Fit Driver offering, the brand is already testing innovative services and functionalities in this field.

In the Flying Health Incubator, Audi AG is entering into dialog with decision-makers from the startup scene and from the healthcare industry. Together, the partners will strive to identify trends, technical solutions and business models in the digital health market at an early stage.

More than ever, health and fitness are becoming top priorities in our daily life. With the fully connected car, we are creating the time and space to respond to this need also while driving. Automotive health is an outstanding example of the many opportunities that digitalization opens up for us.

—Dietmar Voggenreiter, Board Member for Sales and Marketing at Audi AG

The incubator scouts startups with innovative concepts in this sector and assists them over multiple years. The focus of the cooperation for Audi is on new approaches to monitoring fitness and health and their integration into the brand’s ongoing development projects.

Fitdrive

Audi Fit Driver is intended to allow drivers to arrive at their destinations in a more relaxed and healthy state than when they get into the car. With this, the system is also contributing to road safety. It is currently being used in first concept cars.

The car’s sensors work together with a wearable—e.g., a smartwatch—to monitor the driver’s vital signs. The car’s systems respond accordingly to invigorate, relax or protect the driver—for example, with a seat massage, appropriate air conditioning and interior lighting, adaptive infotainment, or in a later development phase, with a piloted emergency stop.

The Flying Health Incubator helps startups develop their digital business strategies, from research to quality management and to project controlling. Within this framework, Audi employees will also be working alongside entrepreneurs from the digital health market. Along with a network of scientists, IT experts, investors and mentors, the incubator offers participants a research site at Berlin’s Trauma Hospital (Unfallkrankenhaus Berlin, UKB).

Other partners include:

  • Sana Kliniken AG
  • Agaplesion CJSC, a non-profit health group
  • Medatixx, a leading German provider of practice management software
  • SIGNAL Krankenversicherung A.G., a private health insurance company
  • UKB

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