US: Audi can rent you a car with an iPhone swipe image

The world of transportation will never look the same, with traditional automakers trying to emulate the level of innovation brought by technology startups.

One perfect example is the latest Audi “mobility”strategy kicking off in San Francisco, the US, where participants in the “Audi on Demand” will be able to feel the joy of driving one of the German company’s models via a few iPhone swipes. The second largest premium brand in the world is on a rapid ascension in the US – the globe’s biggest luxury auto market – having passed last year the Cadillac brand for the fourth place in overall sales in the segment. Now the brand seeks to draw an even larger audience with the new program, which allows users of the Apple iPhone use an application to summon the Audi of their choice and rent it out for up to 28 days. The app shows the availability and prices of the available Audi models, which range from below $200 to more than $1,200 per day – with the service allowing a high level of customization.

The service also plays the luxury card, with customers able not only to pick the car from parking lots but also summon the services of a “concierge” that delivers and returns the cars where they are needed. The service for now is limited to the San Francisco area city limits, with a fleet of 100 vehicles and customization options that span from getting an RS5 instead of a standard A5 to complimentary accessories, such as child seats, ski or bicycle racks, among others.