back to article Buckle up for meetings on the road as Cisco brings Webex to Audi autos

Nothing says Happy Friday like news that Cisco is trying to help your boss pry yet more of your time and personal space from you: the Webex collaboration app will be equipped in select Audi cars from next year. The networking biz has said it is working with the Volkswagen Group's software developer CARIAD and Samsung …

  1. A Non e-mouse Silver badge
    Headmaster

    This is a bad idea. There are plenty of studies that show that talking on a mobile whilst driving is bad for you (and others around you!) that surely this should be a no-brainer NO?

    1. Great Bu
      Mushroom

      On the contrary....

      ....any technology clearly designed to reduce the number of Audi drivers on the road (by having them die in hideous distraction-induced fireballs of death) can only be good for society.

      1. Neil Barnes Silver badge

        Re: On the contrary....

        Problem is that sadly the collateral damage might include me. Could ruin my whole weekend!

      2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: On the contrary....

        "designed to reduce the number of Audi drivers"

        And for the rest of us, it confirms our good judgement.

    2. JimboSmith Silver badge

      A mate of mine when considering a new car went to look at a few manufacturers showroom models. He explained at the start of each visit he didn’t want anything connecting the car to the web, the mobile network or anything like that. When one of the sales blokes (who was just a bit too matey) asked why not, my mate told me he replied

      “Because I’m banging this amazingly hot blonde with the most amazing tits and I don’t want my wife finding out.”

      That stopped any further discussion about connectivity apparently. He isn’t actually married and just doesn’t like the idea of car companies having a link to his car.

      1. DS999 Silver badge

        One thing the sales guys don't go out of their way to mention

        Is that you have to PAY for this connectivity. Which makes sense, it requires a SIM for the mobile connection and the telcos don't provide service for free. So while my Audi came with these types of connected features you have to pay something like $300 a year for them. I use Carplay on my iPhone for stuff like maps and can use "hey Siri" to ask questions, make a call or whatever, so I don't need any of that stuff and thus don't pay for it so the built in connectivity features no longer function for me.

        The SIM is still there even if isn't being paid for so I guess Audi can track my car, but IIRC even if you don't pay it can still call emergency response if you're in an accident so I don't plan to go out of my way to figure out where the SIM is installed and remove it. I mean, Verizon can track my phone which is a lot more accurate indication of my location than where my car is so I guess I'm less concerned about having my car tracked than I would have been before I started basically carrying a personal tracking device with me wherever I go!

    3. katrinab Silver badge
      Megaphone

      Worse than driving while drunk. Definitely not something that should be encouraged. Also illegal in many places.

      1. sanmigueelbeer
        Coat

        Worse than driving while drunk.

        Worse than "driving drunk while on WebEx"?

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Hey, we're talking about Audi drivers here. You know, just one (small) step above BMW drivers, so yes, no brains.

      1. stiine Silver badge
        Facepalm

        I wondered why they didn't introduce this on BMW first.

  2. Pascal Monett Silver badge
    FAIL

    "the modern place of work"

    is NOT part of my driving attention.

  3. Yorick Hunt Bronze badge
    Facepalm

    What could go wrong?

    Apart from the driving distraction others have noted, has everyone forgotten that all of Cisco's software is buggy to buggery and that WebEx in particular has more holes than a colander made of chicken wire?

    1. sanmigueelbeer

      Re: What could go wrong?

      What could go wrong?

      Requires Cisco Smart License -- A marriage made in heaven hell.

    2. sanmigueelbeer

      Re: What could go wrong?

      What could go wrong?

      WebEx could "crash" the car's OS.

  4. TheMaskedMan Silver badge

    Devon is calling

    Wasn't Knight Rider doing this back in the 80s? I'm hoping for Turbo Boost next...

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A bicycle...

    Yes, every time I read an article about new subscription based services packaged into new cars...

  6. brett_x

    WebEx

    What's a WebEx ? Is that like an old Tinder flame ?

    1. sanmigueelbeer

      Re: WebEx

      That's DweebEx (and not WebEx).

      Same clown. Different names.

  7. This post has been deleted by its author

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hmmm..

    This suggests that the guy in charge of privacy there has probably retired - I met him, and I don't think they would have ever gotten that extra bit of spying on users past him (it's a US company, after all). That said, (a) it's optional, (b) depends on whatever data plan is around and (c) maybe they have deployed used the same solution as they did with Google (Google doesn't get any data, it's proxied) but that strikes me as near impossible with Web(s)ex.

    Very much not a good idea - the clever approach would have been to run their own service from their HQ as safer (and cheaper) solutions already exist and need nothing more than a decent browser.

    That said, what else are you going to do if you're going to have to wait around for at least half an hour to recharge, and that's only if there's a charge point free?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Hmmm..

      easy, get paid to watch youtube

    2. that one in the corner Silver badge

      Re: Hmmm..

      > what else are you going to do if you're going to have to wait around for at least half an hour to recharge

      Recharge yourself.

      Take a nap; take a short walk; read a book; write a love letter; paint an abstract; sketch a tree; needlefelt a gnome; sandpaper a birdbox; scrimshaw; knit a pair of socks; survey the flora; crochet an octopus for premature babies; practice your Latin; go to Greggs; do calisthenics; form a support group with the other drivers; laugh maniacally; ...

      1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        Re: Hmmm..

        All activities that would be better if done anywhere other than a car park. Like, say, at my destination, which I reached hours earlier thanks to not having to wait for my battery-on-wheels to slowly accumulate a charge.

  9. Jaspa
    Unhappy

    CARIAD?

    Where is the Welsh angle on this?

    Enquiring minds etc.

    1. Robin

      Re: CARIAD?

      Here you go:

      Dwi ddim yn caru'r syniad hwn (ond sgen i ddim Audi anyway)

  10. DS999 Silver badge

    I'm surprised Audi is doing this

    Audi does not support remote start even in the US, because German law prohibits that. If you want remote start you have to get it installed aftermarket.

    Surely if German law doesn't allow remote start it doesn't allow a videoconference on your dashboard display while you are driving?! I would be kind of annoyed if this is also violates German law but they decided to offer in the US because Cisco is paying them, while still restricting the far more useful remote start.

  11. Plest Silver badge
    Mushroom

    Just eff off 'cos I want to switch off!

    Christ on a bike, can't we just be allowed to disconnect from the Matrix sometimes. We wonder why suicides rates in the West are rocketing, stress related health issues driving every one mad. Obsession with staying connected to work and other people 24/7, just f**k off and let people switch off. You gave me a job, you pay me to do a job and I do it, when I leave work I expect you leave me the hell alone, unless I'm on call and getting paid as such. All other times I need to switch off, I need to forget about work, go do something else to clear my head. If people don't switch off they become anywhere up to 80% less productive, which means you're basically paying to only get 1/5th of my ability to work 'cos you would cut me some slack and some free time.

    1. ex_ussr1

      Re: Just eff off 'cos I want to switch off!

      stranger than fiction!

      If I want to use internet on the fly, I take a train or a bus.

      The bus has an onboard router, as do a number of trains.

      This way PLOD can't chase me for doing (illegal) mobile stuff while driving, and plod is getting increasingly sophisticated detecting when you are up to it.

      In my car I installed my own router,- on the basis the children like to do something on long distance trips, and partner can look up stuff at fibre optic speeds.

      +

      One of the main hassles with in car data systems is roaming.

      This might not occur to yankees who don't need this function, but us here in EU need it, cos each country border entails a jump from network to (roaming) network, and lots of routers fall over, or limit the amount of data that can be used away from the HOME network.

      1. that one in the corner Silver badge

        Re: Just eff off 'cos I want to switch off!

        > In my car I installed my own router ... partner can look up stuff at fibre optic speeds.

        Ahem: "That must be one long fibre cable"

  12. sanmigueelbeer
    Coat

    "presents people with "access to elevated work experiences blood pressure that can be personalized to fit destroy their lifestyles"

    TFTFY, TYVM.

  13. sanmigueelbeer
  14. CowHorseFrog

    A really clever person wouldnt be driving to the office or somewhere to make a powerpoint presentation in the first place.

    Why are people so fucking stupid thinking they have to drive everywhere when they could to their chat at home or whereever and skip the trrip ?

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Webex FFS ????

    The worst web conference known to man kind ! Why ???

    Teams, I'd have understood, maybe even chime but fucking Webex ?

  16. Marty McFly Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Sounds great!

    My company pays for an iThingy device so that I can do work stuff on it. No doubt under that paradigm the company will pay for a new Audi so that I can do work stuff on it too.

    1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

      Re: Sounds great!

      Second prize is two Audis.

      (Man, I miss the Audi of the mid-'80s. The 4000 and 5000. The Quattro.)

      Of course, if I had one of these, it would never work. Everywhere I drive is through a tunnel. The whole way. Even the 15-hour ones.

  17. FirstTangoInParis Bronze badge

    Routers on public transport?

    The times I’ve tried using the WiFi on a train or on a National Express coach, nothing has worked. Happily streaming some Tv programme in the coach station, then stream drops the second the coach moves off. I’m told rail companies get through some inordinate amount of 4G data, but I do wonder if the data it tries to carry is actually useful to anyone.

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