Not content to pummel CES show goers with laser lights and self-piloting vehicles, Audi has also pulled the wraps (well, some of the wraps) off the interior of its upcoming next-gen TT. While the car itself wasn't on hand for us to check out, Audi did mock up the cockpit, complete with its all-new Virtual Cockpit central display and the latest iteration of the company's Multi Media Interface (MMI).
Audi has taken the somewhat unusual step of unveiling much of the interior of its upcoming TT Coupe at the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. That's unusual, because they haven't shown us the car yet. Perhaps we shouldn't be surprised – with the proliferation of technology in automobiles these days, it's probably time we start considering them as much electronic devices as transportation devices.
The merging of our smart phones and automotive infotainment systems may be about to get an even bigger boost, if a report from Forbes is to be believed. The business publication is reporting that Google and Audi may announce a partnership at next week's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas that would see Google's Android OS taking control of Audi's MMI infotainment system.
There's about to be a whole lot more traffic news for select Audi buyers. SiriuxXM radio is already offered free for three months to folks who buy a new Audi, but now, if you select MMI Navigation Plus or MMI Navigation Plus with MMI Touch, you'll get four years of SiriusXM Traffic, free, even if you don't pick up the subscription to the rest of SiriusXM's offerings.
It doesn't matter what kind of company you are: if you have new tech to show off, you must go to CES. The automakers will always unveil their latest models at the auto shows, but new entrants to the massively exploding infotainment segment are saved for Vegas.
We got a sneak peak at Audi's next generation MMI during Rupert Stadler's keynote earlier this week and now we've gotten our hands on a demo unit powered by NVIDIA's Tegra processor and equipped with Audi's revised MMI hardware.
Ford may have been the dominant force at CES for the last few years, but other automakers are finally beginning to take the consumer electronics space seriously. Although Alan Mulally's keynote this morning represented an unprecedented third address at the show, Audi CEO Rupert Stadler kicked things off Wednesday morning, showing off a new MMI interface and touting its partnership with chip-maker NVIDIA. But that wasn't the biggest news.
2011 Bentley Mulsanne – click above for high-res image gallery
More tech in your car? Oh, that's inevitable. But automakers are trying to figure out the best way to implement it. There are two main architectures currently; tethered and embedded. Ford's SYNC is an example of a tethered tech-integration system that uses Bluetooth to connect to mobile devices consumers already own and carry with them. General Motors' OnStar system is an embedded setup that builds the technology into the car. Going forward, the consensus seems to be that we're going to see syst
2010 Audi S5 Cabriolet - Click above for high-res image gallery
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 10,0
From the first lozenge-shaped A8 that hit American shores in 1997, Audi's flagship sedan has slowly been asserting itself more and more. The current A8 W12 is almost always given credit for its beautiful-yet-subtle design and a glorious interior. American buyers, however, haven't thrown money at it like they do the BMW 7 Series and Mercedes-Benz S Class. Audi is out to change that with the 2011 A8.
If you're buying an A8 this year, prepare to spend a lot of time getting to know your new MMI system. We have consistently thought that Audi's buttons-and-knob interface is the best, and it looks like they've put an entire NASA team on the job of making it better. A seven-inch TFT screen with 800x400 resolution is now controlled by an 8-position joystick. Moving from one screen to another is done via "elegant crossfades," which sounds a bit PowerPoint-ish, but we'll wait until we see it to judge