CES (Consumer Electronics Show) has almost become as much of a car show as it is a technology show within the last couple of years. Two years ago, Audi made an appearance at CES with the Virtual Cockpit that we all know and love today. This year, however, Audi is back…with more screens.
Admittedly, Audi brought a lot more than screens, but it’s new curved AMOLED (Active-Matrix Organic Light Emitting Diode) is making all of the headlines. With good reason, though, as it looks absolutely brilliant. Except now it won’t be called the Virtual Cockpit, but the Virtual Dashboard and it’s going to be much more than just a digital gauge cluster. In fact, it could make the Virtual Cockpit seem like a relic.
According to Ricky Hudi, Executive Vice President Electronic Development, “The interior of the future will radically alter the way our customers operate and experience things in the vehicle. We are developing our successful Audi virtual cockpit into the Audi virtual dashboard and creating an entirely new world of experience for our customers. In the future, the entire system will get to know the customer and their habits and preferences, then proactively support them.”
The company is exhibiting an interior model at the CES demonstrating an HMI concept that features large AMOLED (active-matrix organic light-emitting diode) displays with integrated haptic feedback. The new type of MMI control with “MMI touch response” recognizes familiar touch gestures from the consumer electronics world and adapts them to the special operating environment in the automobile. Mobile devices such as smartphones and smartwatches can be seamlessly connected. Behind the new operating and display concept is the next generation of Audi’s Modular Infotainment Platform, MIB2+. Its further-enhanced computing power enables it to control several high-resolution displays. The MIB2+ is prepared for the latest wireless communication standard, LTE Advanced.
The range of online services under the Audi connect umbrella is growing quickly. The smartphone app “Audi MMI connect” offers vehicle-specific remote services. Drivers can display the location of their car on their smartphone, for example. It will also be available for fourth-generation Apple TV from 2016. Starting in 2016, the Audi connect SIM will bring Audi connect services in Europe on board with no activation procedure and enable automatic EU-wide roaming.
But it isn’t all software at CES. Audi’s e-tron Quattro Concept was there as well showing off some impressive tech. The Audi e-tron quattro concept includes all piloted driving functions, including piloted driving in traffic jams and piloted parking. These services represent safety, time-savings, efficiency and convenience, particularly in situations in which the driver is either overwhelmed or under-challenged. When it comes to piloted driving, Audi has been doing pioneering work in the automotive industry for many years. The core component of future systems will be the central driver assistance controller, known as the zFAS. The information supplied by all sensors – including the signals from the 3D cameras, the laser scanner and the radar and ultrasonic sensors – is permanently fed into and processed by this compact module. Thanks to its enormous computing power the zFAS will be capable of continuously comparing the data from the vehicle sensor systems with the model of the road space and its surroundings.
Another spectacular development is the Audi VR experience – at the car dealership, a sales advisor can configure any Audi model in the device so that customers can virtually experience their dream car wearing a VR (Virtual Reality) headset – with unique authenticity and all details. Audi thus becomes the first automobile manufacturer to introduce a highly advanced VR system in 2016.
So Audi really pulled out all of the stops for CES, displaying cutting edge technology that can help shape the brand for the future.