Audi previews technologies that will soon be seen in production cars

Article by Christian Andrei, on February 3, 2013

Audi has unveiled a series of technologies that will soon be seen in production cars, such as updates to its MMI infotainment system as well as new head- and taillight designs. Two primary features have been added to the next generation of Audi’s MMI infotainment system.

The destination is seen by the driver ahead of time from Navigation Plus that’s added on the existing Google Earth satellite imagery with Google Street View photos. The newest version of Audi connect can gather information such as concert times, sports times, and train or airplane schedules for the selected destination. The system could also read Twitter posts, text messages, emails, and Facebook alerts from the driver’s smartphone.

The systems can make their debut together with a new version of MMI Touch in the 2014 Audi A3. The updated MMI Touch features a rotary knob to control input on the display. Users would only have to rotate to scroll through menus and push to choose an item. However, the top is touch-sensitive and may be used to “draw” letters and numbers.

Several Audi models already have the MMI Touch such as the A6, A7, and A8, but it has a separate touchpad and rotary controller. Audi said that the new layout is more ergonomic and permits drivers to manage all the system’s features without moving their hand. In addition, the A3 will get a new 3D display for MMI. It is only 0.43-inch thick and because of the use of magnesium, the entire assembly has a low weight of 0.11 pounds. The display has special lenses that make discrete images for the driver’s left and right eyes. Meanwhile, a camera instantly adjusts the display so the “perfect” 3D image is constantly shown. In the upcoming year, Audi also intends to give its cars an upgrade to LTE wireless communications.

That will permit data download for features such as the Navigation Plus. It is five times faster than the 3G phone connection presently used in Audis. Already, Audi is offering LED running lights and headlights. However, Audi is taking it a step further. Matrix LED headlights use a big number of small LEDs that could be turned off or separately dimmed.

This enables a computer to focus light just in specific areas, without the use of reflectors or mirrors. The camera will determine if other vehicles are approaching and the lights are instantly dimed in certain areas so oncoming drivers aren’t dazed. And so, while drivers aren’t blinded, other components of the “Matrix Beam” can still illuminate the road. In addition, the adjustable headlights use input from the navigation system to known when the car is nearing a corner, pointing light around the curve before the driver turns the steering wheel.

Topics: audi, technology

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