Today, Audi is already setting new standards with its control and display functions. Highlights are the Audi virtual cockpit and the new MMI operating concept – which are available in the new generation of the Audi TT, Audi R8, Audi Q7 and Audi A4 model series.
Audi virtual cockpit
The Audi virtual cockpit consists of a TFT display with a 12.3‑inch diagonal and a resolution of 1,440 x 540 pixels. It displays exceptionally sharp and highly detailed graphics. The needle of the tachometer, for example, is updated 60 times per second, so visually its response is absolutely fluid. Scrolling operations, such as scrolling through lists, are based on a physical model that considers such theoretical factors as inertia, elasticity and damping. Working in background for the Audi virtual cockpit is a high-performance Tegra 30 processor supplied by Audi joint venture partner NVIDIA.
The driver can switch between two views by pressing a button on the steering wheel. In Infotainment mode, a central window dominates in the display – it creates a big stage for the navigation map or lists from the Phone, Radio and Media areas. The tachometer and speedometer are displayed as small dial instruments on the right and left. In a second classic view, they appear about as large as present-day analog instruments, and the middle window is made smaller.
The Audi virtual cockpit provides a comprehensive, attractive and versatile presentation of all information – from navigation arrows and dynamic animations to graphics for assistance systems. In keeping with MMI logic, Audi modifies the color scheme of the display according to the base menu being used – orange for the Media menu and green for the Phone menu, for instance. Indicators are displayed at fixed positions along the lower border; they show the outdoor temperature, time of day and odometer readings as well as warning and information symbols.
The driver operates the Audi virtual cockpit from the multifunction steering wheel. Using switches on the left spoke, the driver pages through the menus for the on-board computer, audio system, and – depending on the installed features – the phone and navigation system.
Located on the right side of the steering wheel are the roller control for audio volume, the voice dialog button, express phone controls and a skip function for quickly changing the radio station or music track. In the Audi TT and Audi R8, text inputs for the Audi virtual cockpit can be input by handwriting with the MMI touch control panel on the center console – another beneficial ergonomic solution.
New MMI operating concept
The latest generation of the MMI operating concept makes it very easy for users to control the many different functions in the new Audi models. User operation
is based on a flat hierarchy and has been designed for the fewest possible operating steps. In the new Q7 and A4 models, the Audi virtual cockpit is supplemented by MMI gages on the central display.
In the Audi Q7, the newly developed MMI all-in-touch becomes the center for user operation on the center tunnel console. The driver can enter characters on the large touchpad or perform multi-finger gestures to zoom in on the map, for example. Each input is confirmed by acoustic and tactile feedback – with a click that is also felt on the finger. This lets the driver stay focused on the road. In Asian markets, the system also recognizes the highly complex characters of national languages.
All functions of the MMI system in the Q7 and A4 can be accessed by a high-quality rotary/push-button element, which can also be operated like a joystick.
It can be pushed in four directions, giving access to the menus tructure and to quick access functions of the MMI. Two rocker switches to the left and right of this control are used to access main functions directly. There are also eight user-programmable buttons, which the driver can use to save personal favorites – such as navigation destinations, phone numbers or radio stations.
Audi is setting another benchmark with the innovative MMI search function, which is the central starting point of the new operating concept in all new models. It makes it easier to find music tracks and input phone contacts and navigation destinations. Intelligent recommendations significantly reduce the number of operating steps for an MMI search.
The driver or passenger can write by hand directly on the MMI touch or MMI all-in-touch (Audi Q7) and have initial results displayed after just a few characters are entered. Here, the system also considers the car’s current location and recent activities such as phone calls or destinations. When searching for a place to eat, for instance, the driver only has to enter the name of the restaurant and the first letters of the city and a list of hits appears in a results list.
The driver can use two supplemental menus to select relevant functions of each main group according to the context, which are then intelligently linked. In Radio mode, for instance, the driver can select the frequency band in the function menu and call up traffic information in the Map menu. With these context-dependent options and settings, the driver can get directions to a destination that has been input, have nearby parking places displayed or store a destination to the Favorites list.
Control by natural language
Another highlight is the newly developed, user-friendly and intuitive voice control system. The driver no longer has to be constrained to the use of rigidly defined voice commands – in many languages the system understands formulations from everyday speech. So, hundreds of command variants are possible for each function. In the Phone menu, for example, the driver can call a contact just by saying “I want to talk to <First name Last name>” or “Connect me with <First name Last name>.”
In navigation, it is sufficient to input commands such as “Where can I refuel?” or “I am hungry.” or “Drive me to <City, street, house number>.” This user-friendly voice control functionality is also integrated in the Radio and Media menus.
Equipment, data and prices specified in this document refer to the model range offered in Germany. Subject to change without notice.