Audi A8: No Escape From the Grid

Cars

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Of the future is by definition uncertain, one thing that is going to happen in 2010 is that the all encompassing rach of the World Wide Web with slither its silicone fingers into your motor. And who else but Audi to debut one of the most advanced systems in their flag ship exec saloon?

The state-of-the-art online services built into the new tech allow the new A8 to retrieve up-to-date information from the internet via an optional integrated GPRS/EDGE modem in the latest generation ‘MMI navigation plus’.

The user can search online with Google for points-of-interest directly from within the MMI, the versatile search engine accepting such free text search queries as “delicatessen” or “shoe boutique”. The results are then displayed on the onboard map or used as destinations for route calculation. A8 customers can also plan their navigation destinations in Google Maps or the Audi web portal at home or in the office and retrieve these on demand in the car.

In mid 2010 Audi will further enhance its suite of online services with an even faster modem. This enables faster data transfer as well as simultaneous voice and data connections.

The 8 inch LCD display will allow A8 owners to access high-res high 3D satellite and aerial imagery for the entire globe, backed up by a worldwide database of photos and information articles. The Google Earth imagery and 3D terrain model are combined with the detailed street network from the onboard navigation database in a ‘seamless integration of online and offline content.’

To use the new online services the customer simply needs to insert their SIM card in the MMI Navigation plus or pair their mobile phone with the MMI over the Bluetooth SIM-Access-Profile. Aside from the Customer’s existing mobile phone data plan, no additional contracts are required.

The latest multimedia interface (MMI) navigation plus system that is an integral part of the new A8 features a highly evolved operating concept incorporating a touchpad – known as MMI touch. Also included are an integrated hard disk for navigation, phone and audio data and a graphics processor capable of generating high-quality, three dimensional images.

The MMI analyzes navigation data predictively, relaying information to the control units managing the automatic cruise control with Stop & Go, adaptive lights and the 8-speed tiptronic gearbox so that these systems can precisely adapt their function to conditions well in advance.

It’s been just three years since this tech was spotlighted at various shows of 2006 _ and it might be a while until the tech arrives in your bog standard Focus _ but probably sooner than you think.

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