Dec 23 2009 Maurice Glover
Internet on the move at Audi
IN-CAR information technology is set to take another giant leap forward when next-generation examples of the Audi A8 drive into the showrooms in the next few months.
A host of advances will include the possibility of having internet information services channelled to the dashboard of the German firm's latest luxury flagship.
Linked with an optional modem in a new version of MMI, Audi's multimedia interface navigation system, the Google online services feature will allow drivers to search for points of interest that are then either displayed on the onboard map or used as destinations for route calculation.
By summer, a further refinement of the system will pave the way for Audi to become the first car brand to include the Google Earth feature in its onboard system.
'To use the new online services, customers need only to insert SIM cards in the MMI or pair it up with their mobile phones. Aside from their existing mobile phone data plans, no additional contracts are required,' said a spokesman.
Audi's new MMI features an operating touch-pad, an integrated hard disk for navigation, phone and audio data and a graphics processor capable of generating three-dimensional images.
The system analyses navigation data and relays information to sensors managing the automatic cruise control with stop-start gadgetry, adaptive lights and the eight-speed gearbox to allow the systems to adapt their function to conditions in advance.