The display in the instrument cluster will become more and more important in future Audi models because drivers will be able to read it faster and more conveniently than the central MMI monitor. The brand with the four rings is working on an entirely new concept – the freely programmable instrument cluster.
The brand has already unveiled a wide variety of ideas in many technical studies, most recently in the Audi e-tron Spyder and Audi quattro concept. At the CES 2011 Audi is showing an evolutionary, realistic design that will reach production readiness in the near future.
The freely programmable instrument cluster of the future will take up the position occupied by the current analog instrument. The digital display, a TFT module, measures about 12 inches diagonally, is high-resolution and full-color. Thanks to its elaborate graphics it could, if desired, perfectly reproduce the analog instruments – in a three-dimensional look with light shadow contours.
However the main area of progress in the freely programmable instrument cluster is its impressive flexibility – the driver can decide which displays to call up, in which form. These might be a vivid virtual rev counter, a large 3D navigation map, the image from the night vision assistant, the three-dimensional animation of an operating function or the energy flow chart of a hybrid model.
Depending on preferences and the prevailing driving situation, the display can also show various displays simultaneously or combine them. The driver calls up the new functions via the MMI operating terminal or via the buttons on the multifunction steering wheel; its logic follows the classic MMI menu structure.
Audi is planning to create diverse, attractive display menus, with the emphasis varying depending on the individual car line. Functions that would distract the driver’s attention too much from the road are rejected out of hand; if they do not meet the strict safety criteria, there is no place for them. To comply with current legislation, there is one display – digital or analog – that must always be visible: the speedometer.
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.