Display and control
The new Audi Q7 also opens a new chapter on operating and display concepts. Standard within the driver’s field of vision is an instrument cluster with round analog instruments for the tachometer and speedometer. Between them is the seven-inch color display belonging to the driver information system, with its attractive, high-resolution graphics. Depending on the vehicle’s equipment level, it may include such content as radio stations, music lists, navigation maps and the black and white images from the night vision assistant, for example.
Fascinating graphics: the Audi virtual cockpit
When the optional MMI navigation plus with MMI all-in-touch is ordered, the Audi virtual cockpit is available as an option in the Audi Q7 – a 12.3-inch TFT screen with a resolution of 1,440 x 540 pixels that displays razor-sharp images in fascinating detail. The needle of the tachometer, for example, is updated 60 times per second, making its movements absolutely fluid.
The driver can switch between two different user interfaces. In “Infotainment” mode, a central window dominates the view – it creates a big stage for the navigation map or for lists related to the phone, radio and audio areas. The tachometer and speedometer are displayed as small dial instruments on the right and left. In the classic view, the central window is smaller, and the instruments appear about as large as analog displays.
The driver operates the Audi virtual cockpit just like the driver information display in the analog instrument cluster – by means of the multifunction steering wheel. Using the switches on the left spoke, he navigates through menus for the on-board computer, audio system, and – depending on the car’s features – for the phone and navigation. Arranged on the right side of the steering wheel are the roller for volume control, the voice dialog button, express phone controls and the skip function for quickly changing the radio station or song.
Hovering image: the head-up display
If the customer wishes, Audi can equip the new Q7 with a head-up display that projects important information as symbols and numbers onto a field of the windshield measuring 200 x 80 mm (7.9 x 3.1 in). A TFT display that is backlit by a white LED generates the color image; two aspherical mirrors enlarge and redirect it. The mirrors also compensate for any distortion caused by the curvature of the windshield. The entire system is inconspicuously integrated in the instrument panel.
Information appears to hover in a window about 2.1 meters (6.9 ft) in front of the windshield. The human eye registers the information extremely quickly – there’s no need to adjust the eye focus from the accustomed long-range vision. The driver can choose which information should appear on the display using the MMI. The driver can also adjust the height and brightness of the image. The windshield has a special shape to avoid ghost images.
Gives tactile feedback: MMI all-in-touch
The MMI monitor for the driver and front passenger, which electrically extends out whenever the system is started, is located in the middle of the instrument panel. It has an 8.3-inch diagonal and displays intricate Audi graphics in high resolution.
The MMI terminal on the console over the center tunnel serves as the control system. In the top configuration with MMI navigation plus it is known as MMI all-in-touch, which integrates a rotary/push-button control and two rocker switches for the basic menus.
The main user interface is the touchpad, however. Its anthracite-colored real glass surface is extremely scratch-resistant and has excellent gliding properties. The driver can enter characters on the touchpad surface or perform multi-finger gestures to execute such functions such as zooming in on the map and scrolling through lists. The wrist rests comfortably on the tiptronic selector lever. Each input is confirmed by acoustic and tactile feedback – a click that is also felt on the finger. The click is triggered by an electrically-activated weight that moves at high speed under the touchpad.
Like a smartphone: the operating logic
In the MMI system of the new Audi Q7 practically all inputs can be made in just a few steps. The operation follows a flat hierarchy, based on the logic of modern smartphones. For example, the MMI search operates with text input by the user, as in an internet search engine. It generally answers inquiries after just a few letters, taking into consideration the car’s current location. When searching for a place to eat, for instance, the driver only has to enter the name of a restaurant and the first few letters of the city, and a list of hits appears with addresses – for anywhere in Europe. Searching for songs, albums and radio stations proceeds in exactly the same way.
The user can access function and option menus along the left and right borders of the touchpad, which intelligently supplement the many main menu categories. For example, in the Radio menu the driver can choose the frequency band, or in the Map menu to go to the traffic information. With these functions and options, he can get directions to an input destination, or display nearby parking places and save the destination to the Favorites list. The upper border of the touch surface contains eight freely programmable favorite buttons for storing such favorites as radio stations, contact data or media titles.
The voice control of the MMI navigation plus is also state-of-the-art, and it understands countless formulations from everyday language. In the Phone menu, for example, the driver can access a contact just by saying “I want to call Peter Müller”. Aiding navigation are commands such as “Where can I refuel?” or “Where is the nearest Italian restaurant?”. This natural language voice control, which also allows dictation of text messages, is also available in the Radio and Media menus.
Computer center: the modular infotainment platform
MMI navigation plus with MMI all-in-touch in the new Audi Q7 draws on the computing power of the modular infotainment platform (MIB) from Audi. Its central computer contains two main units within a very compact space – the radio car control unit and the MMX board (MMX = Multi-Media eXtension).
Along with its working and flash memory – the MMX board integrates a super-fast Tegra processor from Audi’s partner Nvidia, which processes all online, media, voice control, navigation and telephone features. The board is a plug-in module – in the development process, Audi can keep it at a state-of-the-art level and thereby bring the latest trends in consumer electronics into the car at an early stage.
The MIB of the second generation operating in the new Audi Q7 employs a Nvidia Tegra 30 processor, which is a quad-core chip from the Tegra 3 series. With a clock speed of over 1 GHz and a fast graphics card, it can drive two displays and perform eight billion operations per second. The Tegra 30 processor interacts with a 3D graphics program from the specialist Rightware to display three-dimensional images. The Audi virtual cockpit uses its own Tegra 30 processor, which works closely with its counterpart in the MIB.
Infotainment and Audi connect
The optional MMI navigation plus with MMI all-in-touch adds a rich array of equipment. It includes a DVD drive, two card readers, a flash memory, the Audi sound system, the Audi music interface with two USB ports, a Bluetooth interface and the 8.3-inch high-resolution monitor. The MMI navigation plus with MMI touch provides access to the smartphone voice control, displays emails from the cell phone and reads them aloud, and allows five free online updates for the navigation map at six-month intervals. It interacts closely with many assistance and safety systems in the new Audi Q7.
Connecting to the internet with LTE: Audi connect
Another component of the top system is the Audi connect hardware module. An LTE/UMTS module establishes a super-fast connection to the internet with up to 100 MBit/s download speed. An integrated Wi-Fi hotspot lets passengers surf and email freely from their mobile devices. For the driver, the online services from Audi connect are brought on board. They are enabled free-of-charge for the first three months, after which Q7 customers can purchase a three-year subscription.
The range of services from Audi connect is impressively diverse: They range from navigation with Google Earth and Google Street View to traffic information online and parking space searches to the social media Twitter and Facebook that have been prepared for use in the car. In online media streaming, the versatile Audi MMI connect app gives access to the services Aupeo! and Napster. Music data are then transmitted by Wi-Fi from the smartphone to MMI navigation plus and from there to the sound system.
The market launch of the Q7 presents a new item in the connect line-up from Audi: The new Audi smartphone interface brings Apple CarPlay and Android Auto on board. When the driver connects an iOS or Android mobile phone to the USB port (iOS from version 7.1; Android from version 5.0 Lollipop), the relevant environment opens in the Audi smartphone interface. The core content here is online music; the system gives access to the enormous range of music from Google Play Music and iTunes. In addition, both platforms offer navigation functions, missed call and appointment reminders.
Both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are integrated in the Audi operating philosophy – the apps can be controlled by voice, the rotary/push-button control or the multifunction steering wheel. The content will continue to expand by adding third party apps like Pandora, Spotify and WhatsApp. The free smartphone app MMI connect provides further services in the new Audi Q7. Destinations from Google maps, points of interest (POI) and dates from the City Events service can be transferred from the cell phone to the car.
Shortly after its market launch, the Audi Q7 will include another new feature: “Audi connect safety & service”. Its services include emergency calling, online roadside assistance and the Audi service request. With the latter, the customer can request that the car send service-related data to the customer’s preferred service garage via an Audi server. These services may be used free-of-charge for ten years.
The functions of the Audi connect vehicle control system (free of charge for three years) are convenient and informative. They include a vehicle status report, remote locking and unlocking, information about the parking location and remote control of the optional auxiliary heater. Operation is easy using the MMI connect app.
Multimedia: infotainment modules
An entire system of modules completes the multimedia line-up in the new Q7. The standard MMI radio plus adds the Audi sound system, voice control, the Audi music interface with two USB ports and a Bluetooth interface. The electrically extending MMI monitor has a seven-inch diagonal. The large rotary/push-button control is the centerpiece of the MMI terminal. Eight user-programmable favorites buttons round out the unit.
On request, Audi can supply a DVD changer as well as two tuners for digital radio and digital television. The Audi phone box – another option – utilizes near-field coupling to link smartphones wirelessly to the vehicle’s antenna and enables charging via a USB port. Shortly following the market launch, wireless charging according to the Qi standard will be available – here the current flows inductively from a coil in the bottom of the box to the receiver coil in the smartphone. The Audi phone box is integrated in the center armrest.
A new listening experience: Audio systems with 3D sound
Discerning hi-fi fans can choose between two optional systems in the new Audi Q7: one from Bose or one from Bang & Olufsen. Both offer the new 3D sound. Two (Bose) or four (Bang & Olufsen) additional speakers in the A-pillars add the spatial dimension of height; the music has an airy and open quality that comes from a large virtual stage.
The 3D technology, now often used in cinemas and living rooms alike, generates sound experience in the car unlike any before. An intelligent program takes information from conventional stereo or 5.1 recordings, computes the third dimension and prepares it for the speakers in the A-pillars. While Bose uses its own algorithms (Bose Advanced Staging Technology), the Bang & Olufsen system employs a procedure developed by Audi together with the Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits (IIS) in Erlangen, Germany.
The heart of the Bose 3D sound system is a 558-watt 15-channel amplifier. The innovative Bose algorithm analyzes the components of a piece of music and positions them perfectly on the virtual sound stage. It drives 19 speakers to accomplish this, some of which have LED light guides in their covers. The Bang & Olufsen Advanced Sound System with 3D sound integrates 23 speakers. The aluminum loudspeaker covers feature a new design, and in the door areas they are also illuminated.
A subwoofer 25 cm (9.8 in) in diameter generates a powerful bass, while two acoustic domes made of solid aluminum produce the treble tones. They extend from the instrument panel when the system is started. The high-efficiency amplifier provides 1,920 watts of power.
Clever Rear Seat Entertainment: the Audi tablet
The Audi tablet with its high-resolution 10.1-inch screen (1,920 x 1,200 pixels) is a flexible infotainment system in a new package. Connected to MMI navigation plus via Wi-Fi, it gives access to the Radio, Media, Navigation and Car Functions menus. Data transfer runs in both directions – the rear passengers can send a planned route to the driver, for example, and conversely the driver can start a radio or media program for them from MMI navigation plus. The sound is output via the on-board sound system or headphones.
The Audi tablet, which uses the Android operating system, supports NFC (Near Field Communication) technology for transmitting data from the smartphone by proximity to the device. It has 32 gigabytes of internal memory and can be expanded by a microSD card for additional memory. The technical core is the new, super-fast Tegra 40 processor from Nvidia.
Clicking the “Apps” button in the start menu opens access to the internet – to around one million apps and games, movies and music, audio books, eBooks and office applications. The integrated full HD camera can be used to make a video call via Skype. After the trip, the user can take the Audi tablet from the car and operate it offline or on an external Wi-Fi network.
The Audi tablet reveals its high-quality character in its frame that is milled from solid anodized aluminum. Together with its rechargeable battery, it is logically designed for use in the car. It can also handle high or very low temperatures without problems; the tilt-adjustable bracket on the back of the front seat is collision-proof and can be removed if required. The Audi tablet is available individually or as a set of two.
Driver assistance systems
Currently, no other model in the segment offers as many driver assistance systems as the new Audi Q7. Some of them are standard equipment; the optional solutions are available either individually or in the City, Parking, and Tour packages, with the Tour package being offered on vehicles that have MMI navigation plus with MMI touch. Compared with the previous Q7 model, nearly all systems are either entirely new developments or have been thoroughly updated.
Greater safety: standard systems
The standard driver information system already includes attention assist, which analyzes driving behavior and warns the driver if there is any indication that he or she is starting to lose concentration. Other standard features are hold assist, cruise control, adjustable speed limiter, rear parking system and the Audi pre sense basic and Audi pre sense city safety systems.
The Audi pre sense basic system networks the different vehicle systems. If it detects an unstable driving condition, it initiates preventive measures to protect the occupants. The front seat belts are electrically tensioned, and the windows and the sunroof are closed. In addition, the hazard warning lights are activated to warn following traffic.
At speeds up to 85 km/h (52.8 mph) Audi pre sense city monitors the road for other road users (e.g. vehicles and pedestrians). It uses the front camera on the windshield for this, which is included as standard equipment and can capture events up to a distance of about 100 meters (328.1 ft). If there is high risk of a collision, it warns the driver according to a staged concept (warning, warning jolt and automatic emergency braking); if necessary, it initiates hard braking. At speeds up to 40 km/h (24.9 mph) accidents can be avoided entirely within system limits. At higher speeds (up to 85 km/h [52.8 mph]), warnings and brake intervention can reduce the impact velocity.
If the collision is inevitable, the multicollision brake assist system uses controlled braking maneuvers during the accident to aid the driver. This can help to prevent the car from skidding and thus additional collisions. If necessary, Audi pre sense city implements the same protective measures as Audi pre sense basic.
In the Tour assistance package: adaptive cruise control
In the Tour assistance package, adaptive cruise control (ACC) plays the lead role. It keeps the new Audi Q7 at a safe distance from the vehicle ahead. The driver can set the distance and the control dynamics over several stages.
The system, which primarily uses the two front radar sensors, covers the full speed range from 0 to 250 km/h (155.3 mph). Its Stop&Go function brakes the new Q7 up to a full stop and lets it start off again automatically at the driver’s request. Even if the ACC is deactivated, from 60 km/h (37.3 mph) it still indicates the distance to the vehicle ahead and warns of an excessively small gap. The driver can set the desired following distance.
In the Tour assistance package: traffic jam assist
Over a speed range from 0 to 65 km/h (40.4 mph) traffic jam assist, another component of ACC, can also take over the steering on well-paved roads, as long as the traffic is moving slowly. The system utilizes wheel sensor and video camera data. It guides the car by gentle steering interventions and follows the convoy ahead within system limits. Traffic jam assist takes its cues from lane markings and other vehicles on the road.
When traffic jam assist reaches its system limits – such as when the traffic jam resolves itself, or there is a tight curve ahead – the human must resume the task of driving. The system supports this over several stages. As a final measure, it can autonomously bring the large SUV to a safe stop.
When the vehicle has ACC, the Audi pre sense front safety system is also on board. This system helps to prevent rear-end collisions with the vehicle ahead, or to reduce their severity. In a hazardous situation, the system prompts the driver to apply the brake according to a complex warning concept – with visual and acoustic signals as well as a braking jolt. Should the driver not respond, autonomous partial deceleration first occurs and then hard braking – provided that the vehicle in front is in motion. Here too the system tightens the seat belts and initiates the action of pre sense basic. Audi pre sense front remains functional even when ACC is switched off.
In the Tour assistance package: predictive efficiency assistant
The adaptive cruise control system works in close coordination with the MMI navigation plus, camera-based traffic sign recognition (a feature also available separate from the package) and the predictive efficiency assistant, another pioneering system of the Tour assistance package. It automatically adjusts the preselected speed to actual conditions – to the route topography, speed limits and road users ahead.
Even if the navigation guidance is inactive, the predictive efficiency assistant continues to utilize route data to alert the driver of situations in which it is advisable to slow down. The system recognizes curves, traffic circles and intersections, city limits and speed limit signs – often long before the driver sees them. The instrument cluster or Audi virtual cockpit then displays an appropriate message. When the assistant screen is active, detailed graphics are displayed.
If the driver wishes, the system can independently control the freewheeling function of the eight-speed tiptronic within certain boundary conditions (related to vehicle speed and the accelerator pedal gradient), so that the new Audi Q7 will coast towards the slow-driving zone at idle speed. The coasting mode is only enabled if it can persist for longer than five seconds. Once this mode ends, the SUV automatically accelerates to the selected target speed, if ACC is enabled. This highly networked intelligence gives the predictive efficiency assistant the potential to improve fuel economy on country roads by as much as ten percent.
In the Tour assistance package: other systems
From a speed of 65 km/h (40.4 mph), Audi active lane assist – another system of the Tour assistance package – helps drivers to stay within the driving lane. The system observes line markings on the road with a video camera and uses other data as well. If the new Audi Q7 approaches a lane marking without activating the turn signal, the system helps the driver to stay in the lane by initiating a gentle intervention in the electromechanical steering system.
The driver can choose whether to be assisted continuously or just shortly before crossing the lane markings. If the driver opts for early intervention, the system guides the driver to the center of the lane. A steering wheel vibration can also be set. Audi active lane assist is also available as a separate option.
Collision avoidance assist and turn assist complete the Tour assistance package. Collision avoidance assist supports the driver when the new Q7 has to drive around an obstacle to avoid an accident. Based on data from the video camera and the radar sensors, it instantaneously computes a suitable track, taking into account distance, width and offset of the vehicle ahead. Its first action is a warning jolt to alert the driver about the hazard. Once the driver begins steering, the system applies torque interventions in the power steering system to help to steer the vehicle around the obstacle.
Turn assist monitors oncoming traffic when turning left at low speeds. In a hazardous situation, it can brake the Q7 to a standstill. This intervention keeps the Audi Q7 in its own driving lane. The system is enabled at speeds of between two and ten km/h (1.2 – 6.2 mph) when the driver operates the turn signal to turn left.
The City assistance package
The Audi side assist lane-changing assistant (also available separately), is a system of the City assistance package. It assists the driver from a speed of 15 km/h (9.3 mph) when changing lanes, using two rear radar sensors that have a measurement range of about 70 meters (229.7 ft). If a vehicle is located in the blind spot or is approaching rapidly, a warning LED in the housing of the respective exterior mirror lights up. If the driver keeps the turn signal on, the LED flashes brightly several times in succession.
Audi side assist is coupled with the Audi pre sense rear system, which initiates preventive protective measures when there is high risk of a rear-end collision. It also runs in the background when the Audi side assist is off, except during trailer operation.
Cross traffic assist rear makes use of the rear radar sensors to warn the driver, if the parking system is enabled, while reversing slowly, as when pulling out of a perpendicular parking spot in front of other vehicles detected as critical threats. The warning is staged at different levels – visually on the MMI monitor, acoustically and, if necessary, with a jolt.
Exit warning comes into play once the large SUV has stopped. If vehicles or bicycles now approach from behind, the system warns the driver and all passengers if they begin to open a door. The system uses the LED light guides of the light package in the doors – in a situation identified as hazardous, special high-power LEDs flicker and light up red. Exit warning remains in readiness for about three minutes after the ignition is switched off.
In the City assistance package: trailer maneuver assist
If the new Audi Q7 is serving as a towing vehicle, the driver can enable the trailer maneuver assist when backing up in reverse. The driver then only needs to shift to R and accelerate carefully. The driver can continuously vary the angle of reverse motion with the rotary/push-button control in the MMI. To drive straight ahead, the driver taps once on the control. The images from the rear view camera that are shown on the MMI monitor include auxiliary lines as a guide. Trailer maneuver assist turns the steering wheel and guides the trailer along the selected course in a stable way, so that the driver can steer the entire car-trailer combination using the rotary/push-button control of the MMI.
A rotating sensor in the trailer hitch is a key technical component of trailer maneuver assist – it senses the articulation angle between towing vehicle and the trailer. Prior to use, the driver should briefly teach the system about the specific trailer by driving a few meters with it. Trailer maneuver assist permits a driving speed of up to 10 km/h (6.2 mph). If the articulation angle is too large, the system outputs a warning, and brakes in case of an emergency.
Two other systems round out the City assistance package – the acoustic and visual parking system plus and the rear view camera. Both are also available separately.
The Parking assistance package
The ideal supplement to the City assistance package is the Parking assistance package. It includes the park assist system (also available separately); it utilizes twelve ultrasonic sensors to steer the new Q7 into parallel and perpendicular parking spaces nearly autonomously, and it pulls out of parallel parking spots as well. The package also includes 360 degree cameras. They display different views of the car’s immediate surroundings on the MMI monitor, including a virtual bird’s eye view and 180 degree images of the front and rear. Such views are very helpful with confusingly exit layouts and in combination with cross traffic assist rear.
Night vision assistant
The separately available night vision assistant uses a long-range infrared camera to sense the heat radiated by objects. Converted to black and white images, the information can be viewed in the instrument cluster or the Audi virtual cockpit. The cooler surroundings appear dark, while animals and people appear strikingly bright. The system has a visual range of up to 300 meters (984.3 ft), can detect people and larger wild animals at distances of up to around 100 meters (328.1 ft) and highlights them with yellow markings.
If a hazardous situation is detected, a warning sound is output. A warning symbol appears in the instrument cluster and in the optional head-up display. If the new Audi Q7 is equipped with the high-beam assistant or Matrix LED headlights, when the car is outside of urban areas the system illuminates pedestrians with three short bursts of light.
The equipment, data and prices specified in this document refer to the model range offered in Germany. Subject to change without notice; errors and omissions excepted.