The Audi virtual cockpit is a fully digital instrument cluster with a 12.3-inch TFT screen and a resolution of 1,440 x 540 pixels. Its display graphics are exceptionally sharp and highly detailed. Working in the background is a high-performance Tegra 30 chip from Audi’s cooperation partner NVIDIA.
The fully digital display enables a wide range of information to be presented clearly and directly in the driver’s field of view. It includes traditional speed and rpm figures as well as navigation, communication and entertainment information. Indicators are shown at fixed positions along the lower border; they show the outside temperature, time and odometer readings as well as warning and information symbols. The image is refreshed 60 times per second so that the virtual needle of the rev counter tracks smoothly and very precisely. Scrolling operations in lists are based on a physical model that considers such factors as inertia, elasticity and damping.
As with the driver information system display in the analog instrument cluster, the driver operates the Audi virtual cockpit from the multifunction steering wheel. The driver can switch between two different views by pressing the “View” button. In Infotainment mode, the display is dominated by a central window. It creates a large stage for the navigation map or for lists in the phone, radio and audio areas. In this case, the rev counter and speedometer are displayed as small dial instruments. In the classic view, these instruments are approximately as large as analog instruments, and the center display window is therefore smaller. In keeping with MMI logic, the Audi virtual cockpit 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.
The S models also have a sport mode, in which the rev counter is located at the center. This is also the case for the RS screen, which is provided in addition to the infotainment and classic views in the RS models. In this view, users can configure additional instruments around the dominant rev counter which show such parameters as torque, power output, tire pressure and g-forces.
The Audi virtual cockpit presented in the Audi A8 (D5) has undergone extensive advanced development. Its TFT monitor, which is fed by a K1 chip from NVIDIA, provides brilliant full HD resolution of 1,920 x 720 pixels. The individual screens now have a concise new look. When the Audi AI traffic jam pilot is active, for instance, abstracted representations show the car’s movements and its driving environment.