Among the myriad of technological features coming to the 2011 Audi A8, its revised Multi Media Interface system, complete with the new "MMI touch" feature, will also include the first application of Google Earth in a production car.
In addition to the traditional hard-disk navigation system, an optional GPRS/EDGE modem is integrated into the MMI nav-plus system allowing a constant stream of information to be downloaded and accessed from Google. Along with GPS-based searches for local services, users can plan out their trips on Google Maps, Google Earth or through Audi's online portal, and navigation data is analyzed and relayed to all the A8's systems, including the automatic cruise control with "Start & Go" functionality, the adaptive lights and the eight-speed automatic gearbox.
With a SIM card inserted into the A8's MMI setup (or data-enabled phone paired via Bluetooth) Google Earth can provide drivers with a three-dimensional view of their surroundings displayed on the A8's eight-inch LCD display, showing satellite imagery and terrain modeling, along with all the traditional navigation system's functionality both online and off. The integration of Google Earth is set to go live on the A8 sometime in the middle of 2010, soon after Audi's new flagship goes on sale in the spring. Check out all the details in the press release after the jump.