“In electronics, the innovation cycles are extremely short and the competition is particularly intense,” says Prof. Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg, Member of the Board of Management of AUDI AG, Technical Development. “We therefore feel obligated to become even more progressive, agile and innovative. We were first-to-market in past years with many technologies, and we will maintain and further extend this advantage.”
Audi already offers a wide range of assistance systems that make driving even more composed. They are available in many models, including in the compact A3 family. For the company’s next big step, Audi will introduce its new technologies for piloted driving before the end of this decade. Audi is doing pioneering work in this field. In 2013, Audi became the world’s first carmaker to receive a license from the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles to test autonomous vehicles. As part of the licensing process, Audi demonstrated piloted driving in traffic and when parking. The systems were in the predevelopment phase, and the computer technology filled the entire trunk. The concept for implementation in production vehicles has been verified and is now in production development. The central driver assistance control unit (zFAS) for piloted driving announced at the 2013 CES was developed in just one year. The message for piloted driving at the 2014 CES: Audi is extending its lead and is already driving with production technology.
Another highlight being shown by Audi is the next generation of the Audi MMI system. Familiar elements such as the rotary/push button control and MMI touch are still there in the new generation, but they are now even better and more intuitive than ever. There is one noticeable difference with the MMI user terminal: The number of function buttons has been reduced from four to two. The surface of the MMI touch now also understands multitouch gestures from the world of smartphones, such as zoom and scroll. A particular highlight is universal MMI search. When using the navigation function, this direct search allows the driver to just begin writing without having to use a rigid form. In most cases, the desired results show up on the display after entering just a few letters.
Audi was the first carmaker to offer a fully integrated UMTS interface in all its models. Audi is now also the first carmaker to fully integrate LTE into the automobile. This high-speed data technology will be rolled out successively to all Audi models, beginning with the launch of the new Audi A3. The long-standing partnership with Qualcomm makes this possible. The full integration of Qualcomm’s LTE technology will enable the range of Audi connect services to be extended in intriguing ways: music services in the cloud, fast online updates, high-speed video conferences, car-to-x communication and much more.
Among the new car-to-x applications at Audi is the service Online traffic light information. It networks the car with the central traffic control computer that controls the traffic lights in the city. Targeted information appears in the display of the driver information system. It shows the driver the speed to select in order to reach the next traffic light during a green phase. The time remaining is displayed while waiting for the light to turn green. The system’s technology is fully mature; Audi can deploy it in all of its models. Audi is in active discussions with the operators of the traffic infrastructure.
Audi introduced another first in 2012: the Audi phone box. This very useful feature has now been updated with wireless charging. The electricity in the floor of the phone box flows to a receiver coil in the smartphone via induction according to the Qi standard. In the future, the Audi phone box will thus not only provide for perfect reception, but also ensure that the smartphone is fully charged at all times. Audi uses the WLAN hotspot in the car to intelligently combine the world of smartphones and tablets with the automotive world.
Now Audi is opening a new chapter. As the standard-bearer for the entire Volkswagen Group and a founding member of the Open Automotive Alliance, the company, in partnership with Google, will be the first carmaker worldwide to seamlessly integrate Android devices into its vehicles.
The modular infotainment platform (MIB) with the Nvidia Tegra 20 processor was first announced at the 2012 CES. The Audi A3 with the MIB and Tegra 20 was on the road just one year later. Audi is announcing a further highlight at the 2014 CES: The updated MIB with the Nvidia Tegra 30 processor will go into series production with the new Audi TT. The interior of the new Audi TT is also making its world premiere. The highlight here is the new Audi virtual cockpit.
The computing and graphics power of the Nvidia Tegra 30 enables a whole new generation of instrument cluster with unprecedented performance and precision. The graphics and dial instruments are rendered naturally and tack-sharp on the brilliant 12.3-inch display. Transparency effects and animations combined with the high-end resolution creates a whole new experience for the driver.
In another first for carmakers, Audi is presenting a new dimension of in-car entertainment: the Audi Smart Display. This represents the perfect combination of the latest technology from the consumer sphere with the robustness and reliability of the automotive sphere in a tablet suitable for use in the car. It has a 10.2-inch, full-HD display and a brushed aluminum case. A WLAN interface connects it to the car. The heart of the Smart Display is the state-of-the-art computing and graphics power of the Nvidia Tegra 40. The Audi Smart Display connects the car to the consumer world and vice-versa. Passengers in the front or rear seats can use the touchscreen to control the car’s radio, media, navigation and other convenience functions.
The Smart Display uses the Audi sound system for perfect sound reproduction. In addition, the Audi Smart Display uses the Android operating system to access the Internet at LTE speeds via Audi connect. The customer thus has access to more than 950,000 apps plus movies, music, audio books and eBooks via Google Play, the Android app store.
The close collaboration with the big players of the consumer sphere and Audi’s expertise in quickly bringing these technologies to the car takes the networking of the car with the Internet to a whole new dimension.
Audi has long been the benchmark when it comes to lighting technology. The latest innovations are the Matrix LED headlights and dynamic turn signals in the new Audi A8 luxury sedan. With Audi Matrix LED headlights, the high beams can be used all the time without blinding other road users. Another worldwide first being presented at the 2014 CES are the first laser headlights in an automobile. They are premiering in the Audi Sport quattro laserlight concept, and will also debut later this year at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in the new Audi R18 e-tron quattro. These laser headlights emit a monochromatic and coherent light with a wavelength of 450 nanometers. They have a range of 500 meters (1,640.42 ft), roughly twice as far as an LED high beam.
Broad-based expertise in the field of electronics allows Audi to break new ground when it comes to collaboration with its suppliers. In the Progressive Semi Conductor Program (PSCP), multiple semiconductor manufacturers have the status of strategic partners and are thus tightly integrated into the development process. Another investment in the future is the Audi Urban Future Initiative. The interdisciplinary think tank, in which top-rank experts ponder mobility in the megacities of the future, is presenting its latest projects at the 2014 CES.
Rounding out Audi’s appearance in Las Vegas are three spectacular cars: the dynamic new Audi S8, the elegant and networked Audi A3 Cabriolet and the Audi Sport quattro laserlight concept, a technology study. The coupe, which is making its debut at the CES, has all of the latest Audi innovations on board: laser high beams, Audi virtual cockpit, next-generation MMI, LTE hotspot, the integration of Android devices and the Audi Smart Display.
The equipment and data specified in this document refer to the model range offered in Germany. Subject to change without notice; errors and omissions excepted.