Audi’s new tech offers integrated payment for road tolls, and eventually things like coffee, food

Audi has been debuting cool technology for quite a number of years. It was the first brand to offer an in-car Wi-Fi hotspot, for example. And then, things like Google Maps as a navigation aid. Now, another item that many commuters will love: a built-in toll road transponder.

If you use the dedicated toll roads, or the FasTrak lanes on freeways, you need a transponder and a prepaid account. And that transponder needs to be stuck to your windshield so it can interact with the overhead sensors.

The Audi Integrated Toll Module system is hidden inside the rear-view mirror, so you never see it. But, the toll sensors can. The owner sets up everything through the Audi MMI infotainment system, including selecting solo or multiple occupants. It’s all nice and sleek, and your windshield remains free of clutter.

Some people might think this is trivial, and Audi obviously offers lots more technology that more people can use. But, if you are a frequent user of those toll Roads or FasTrak lanes, imagine not having to drive around with that plastic box stuck to your windshield all the time.

There are other planned uses for this system, so it could be useful even if you never use pay lanes. For example, in a drive-thru to pay for your coffee or food. Imagine, all you do is grab your purchase, and your car handles the payment.

And here’s something that can be applied to any car – new digital license plates from a California company called Reviver. The digital RPlate costs $499 plus a $55 annual fee. They can be customized and personalized and provide access to toll lanes automatically, as well as handle things like paying for parking. The digital plates are now legal in a couple of states, including California.

The Audi system works nationwide on just about any modern toll road, bridge or tunnel, and it is standard or available on all but a handful of the company’s 2020 and 2021 models. It can make life a bit easier if you’re someone who is continually navigating the roads, or eventually navigating a favorite latte spot.

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