Audi's MMI in-car command system is one of the most intuitive offered by an OEM, but that isn't stopping Audi from piling on the improvements. The screen is now a seven-inch, 800x400 TFT display, being fed info from a high-capacity hard disk, a DVD drive, and an NVIDIA graphics chip. It also gets an eight-way joystick on the central knob, which means you can make mouse-like movements on the screen for point-and-click ease. In addition to all that, there are simpler vocal inputs, 3-D maps, a 10,000-number phone book, and two processors so that everything can run at the same time. It will arrive in the U.S. with the Q5 later this year, but in the mean time, you can get all the details in the lengthy press release after the jump.
The next generation MMI from Audi: top-level multimedia and communication
- Introducing a new generation of the market's best system
- Even higher performance and easier operation
- First appearance stateside in the all-new Audi Q5
HERNDON, Va., Jan 28, 2009 - Audi is increasing its lead in infotainment technology even further. A new generation of the MMI, the supreme solution for multimedia, communication and operation, has been announced. With a high-capacity hard disk, a DVD drive and an automotive grade NVIDIA™ chip for graphics processing, it is much more versatile and its performance is higher than ever before. The new MMI's first appearance will be in the all-new Audi Q5.
New joystick control- The basic operating principle has been retained, but the innovative joystick makes it even more convenient. This joystick is located on the central knob and can be moved in eight directions within the navigation map screen – with high precision and the sense of quality that the Audi driver expects. For example, now you can easily navigate to a location on the screen and just point and click for directions.
New Display- For the new MMI, Audi has provided a large TFT display measuring seven inches from corner to corner. It is located in an ergonomically favorable position high up on the center console.
With the very high resolution of 800 x 480 pixels and LED backlighting, this monitor supplies an exceptionally sharp image with plenty of contrast. Even in poor light conditions, the colors are intense and the text is crisp.
3D map displays-The driver can choose between the conventional two-dimensional view and the new 3D images. These modes feature a birds-eye perspective of the map area, with plenty of carefully presented detail including real-time traffic information, and while in 3D orientation, the various topographies are shown throughout the entire US. Another new feature is that the outlines of buildings in many major cities are displayed to help with orientation while navigating. Additionally, the most important buildings in large cities appear in near-authentic-detail, as well as several branded point-of-interest icons.
Vocal Input- If the driver uses voice input to load a destination into the navigation system; this can now be done without spelling out the individual letters. The new MMI understands complete words in a number of languages.
The same applies to the new high-performance telephone directory, which can store up to 2,000 entries each with five numbers for each user. The telephone is even more convenient to use with the new MMI. Additionally a speech-to-text engine is used so you no longer have to create voice tags for every name in your directory. A digital voice processor ensures the best hands-free quality; while voice outputs are through the car's sound system.
Music and Entertainment: the DVD drive-The new MMI has an integral drive for video DVDs; the new joystick function on the control knob is especially practical for this, as it enables you to quickly navigate title menus and screen selections. When played back with the optional sound systems, DVD soundtracks can be heard in Dolby Digital 5.1 multi-channel sound and other frequently used formats. For safety reasons, the picture is only displayed when the car is standing still. The system also plays music from CDs and SD cards, including those coded MP3, AAC and WMA.
Additional technical modules have made the MMI even more attractive. The optional Audi Music Interface makes a perfect connection with an mp3 player, for instance the customer's iPod. The complete menu structures and contents appear on the MMI display, and control is at the MMI terminal or the multifunctional steering wheel.
The Sirius Radio display has also been updated on the new MMI. Without interrupting music, or changing stations, users are now able to preview the artist and track title on other Sirius stations.
MMI Tech- One of its key components is the hard disk; 10 GB of its 40 GB capacity can be used as a jukebox, to store up to 2,000 tracks, all sorted for easy access. The hard disk also contains navigation data and an electronic logbook for the car.
Two processors, an 800 MHz chip and a 500 MHz digital signal processor, allow all applications – navigation, voice input, telephone and audio functions – to operate simultaneously. Using the 3D graphics processor from Californian 3D chip manufacturer NVIDIA™ gives the MMI access to the third dimension. Audi has used this chip's outstanding performance with graphics for the first time to provide a genuine 3D map display – a 'digital topographical model'. With this processor, the screen display sets new standards with its attractive display layout, high resolution, and presentation quality, smooth animation and cross fading.