The new Audi A8, which celebrated its launch in Europe and other global markets in the first quarter of 2010, set the bar at new heights with regard to multimedia technology. Its multimedia interface (MMI) navigation plus features a highly evolved operating concept incorporating a touchpad – known as MMI touch. Also included are an integrated hard disk for navigation, phone and audio data and a graphics processor capable of generating high-quality, three dimensional images.
The all-new Audi A8 will arrive in U.S. showrooms by the end of this year, with Google Earth technology available in early 2011.
First shown as a prototype with Google in January 2006 at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, the online services in the new Audi A8 are the result of a close collaboration between Audi and Google development teams worldwide.
"We sincerely appreciate the acknowledgement [sic] from Telematic Update and the support and partnership with Audi,” said Jens Redmer, Principal, New Business Development, Google Inc. “These products show the power of making rich web content, particularly through Google's geographic tools, available across more platforms. We look forward to continuing to explore ways to work with automakers to bring more connectivity to drivers worldwide."
The A8 can retrieve up-to-date information from the internet through the rooftop antenna via the car’s own UMTS module. The user can search online with Google Local Search for points-of-interest directly from within the MMI. The versatile search engine accepts such free text search queries as “delicatessen” or “shoe boutique”. The results are then displayed on the onboard map or used as destinations for route calculation.
The fast data transfer of the UMTS module has allowed Audi to set a world first with the integration of Google Earth in the MMI navigation plus. Google Earth imagery and a 3D terrain model are combined with the detailed street network from the onboard navigation database as well as calculated routes in a seamless integration of online and offline content.