1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Extending Audi Connect

Discussion in 'New A3/S3 (8V Chassis)' started by cemerson, Jan 28, 2014.

  1. cemerson

    cemerson Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 9, 2013
    Messages:
    4,205
    Likes Received:
    916
    From what I have experienced of connect so far - other than the extra things it puts in other places on the MMI (Google Earth, message dictation, myAudi destinations etc), it seems the main menu of connect is driven around a basic web service client (to my eyes anyway).

    I think it goes to the Audi website (on a given URL) and picks up a list of available connect services from some web service somewhere, and shows these as a menu - possibly with the icon encoded in here too, or referenced somehow. Once you select an item, it can make another call to show some basic things. All the screens in connect seem to follow the same structure - there is the main services view (a list with icons), a menu view (the 'circular' menu you see - eg, like the main MMI menu), a list view (simple scroll up and down a list - perhaps this is the same as the one with icons?), an item / page view (appears to be a basic rendering engine for either HTML or possibly some kind of custom markup), and all of this information appears to be fed from the web service, given the fact that you have to wait for each to load when you navigate around.

    Because of all this - I'm wondering whether it's possible to extend Audi Connect with 'custom' services/apps. I'm a web developer myself so I think I could easily replicate the calls that the car makes to Audi, and insert my own entries (or remove ones I don't use, or even modify & enhance the output of the existing ones). You could potentially add all kinds of custom services in there, linking in to any third party that provides an API at a guess.

    This would all hinge on being able to reset the basic URI that connect uses to contact 'home', and switch it to a custom one, which you could potentially then use as a 'middle man' to interpret requests from the car, forward them on to Audi as appropriate, and modify the response before it gets back to the car. Depending on the hardware and infrastructure that Audi are using, there is also the potential to increase the speeds by caching some of the basic stuff (main menus etc) to avoid having to contact Audi for them.

    Is there anyone who knows of anything like this being done before? Does anyone know how the URL would be stored (My guess would be that it's hard coded in the MMI software), or if it's possible to override? Could it even be done outside of the car through the SIM card somehow, with additional hardware? Perhaps there is a module you can buy that can monitor web traffic on a SIM card and modify as appropriate?
     
  2. Advert Guest Advertisement


  3. Scott

    Scott Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2009
    Messages:
    1,296
    Likes Received:
    123
    Good thoughts. A packet sniffer is needed. It would be easy you could connect via wifi but as you can't...I don't know....maybe there's a mobile provider which lets you view logs of what's been accessed?
     
  4. cemerson

    cemerson Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 9, 2013
    Messages:
    4,205
    Likes Received:
    916
    It's finding one that'll not only let you view the logs, but also you use a proxy for some URLs that's the trick (assuming the URL can't easily be changed in the car software)
     
  5. Scott

    Scott Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2009
    Messages:
    1,296
    Likes Received:
    123
    What about these 3G extenders which Orange and other providers offer?
    It effectively improves 3G coverage by sending the calls and data via your home broadband connection
    Something like that could probably be used to capture the packets, but then they're most likely encrypted.

    and like you say, you've got to work out a way of changing the URL then
     
  6. cemerson

    cemerson Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 9, 2013
    Messages:
    4,205
    Likes Received:
    916
    Encryption isn't really a problem, it's the URLs not the actual data that I want to get hold of. I might have a look around in the debug menu on the MMI at some point to see if there are any clues.
     
  7. Scott

    Scott Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2009
    Messages:
    1,296
    Likes Received:
    123
    I mean, if you use a 3G extender like the one offered by Orange, all data would probably go via Orange's servers anyway and be encrypted up to that point, so you wouldn't be any wiser, even if you could see those packets
     
  8. andywil13

    andywil13 Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2011
    Messages:
    380
    Likes Received:
    65
    I love the thought of being able to extend the features of audi connect. Ive got it and whist it has its use, its very limited, and has lots of issues.

    why it cant cache the myaudi locations I have no idea!
    i was really hoping it would be more google integrated aswell. one day it will just be like having an android phone in the car :D
     
  9. cemerson

    cemerson Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 9, 2013
    Messages:
    4,205
    Likes Received:
    916
    I don't think local caching will be possible with what I'm thinking, so that problem will still exist - I'm just thinking about caching things on a web server that is away from Audi. Whether it will have an affect or not I don't know, but it potentially could. Depends how fast the Audi servers are really.

    I wonder if it's something that can be done through VCDS? I really have no idea here. If/when an MMI software update disc/card/whatever is leaked there may be more info on how it all works.

    I know you can enable a hidden MMI menu with VCDS which has some base MMI settings to play with - does anyone know what this includes? Has anyone done it?
     
    #8 cemerson, Jan 28, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2014
  10. Scott

    Scott Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2009
    Messages:
    1,296
    Likes Received:
    123
    I've got VCDS but at the moment its features are very limited for the 8V platform
     
  11. cemerson

    cemerson Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 9, 2013
    Messages:
    4,205
    Likes Received:
    916
  12. cemerson

    cemerson Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 9, 2013
    Messages:
    4,205
    Likes Received:
    916
    mjcourtney likes this.
  13. cemerson

    cemerson Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 9, 2013
    Messages:
    4,205
    Likes Received:
    916
    http://fpi.audi-online.com/fpi/template

    All sorts of fun stuff on this webserver - that's the fuel prices web service for example. Written in SCXML, a subset of XML called 'State Chart' XML which can be used for control flows, obviously something the MMI system can interpret and act on.

    I suspect so much stuff can be done with this... if only we can change the URL that the system points to in the first place!
     
    mjcourtney likes this.
  14. cemerson

    cemerson Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 9, 2013
    Messages:
    4,205
    Likes Received:
    916
    mjcourtney likes this.
  15. mjcourtney

    mjcourtney Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2013
    Messages:
    1,439
    Likes Received:
    414
    fascinating! Shall have to have a dig round those pages!
     
    cemerson likes this.
  16. cemerson

    cemerson Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 9, 2013
    Messages:
    4,205
    Likes Received:
    916
    I haven't worked out how to pass the PIN code in yet to get the personalised stuff like Facebook, Twitter etc to appear (and POIs and things like that)
     
  17. SockToy

    SockToy Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2014
    Messages:
    109
    Likes Received:
    29
    That's kind of awesome. Good luck ;-p
     

Share This Page