One of the biggest fears we hear from Audi enthusiasts, and just car enthusiasts in general, with the tech in Audi’s newest cars is that the new Touch Response MMI system won’t be as intuitive to use while driving. When we first saw it, we felt the same way. Personally, I’m not a huge fan of touchscreens in cars, as I feel they’re just too distracting while on the move. I’ve been warming to Audi’s new MMI system since I’ve been using it more, though. In this new video, we give you a bit of a tour of the new Touch Response system in the new Audi A8.
To do this, we went to our friends at Audi Freehold in Freehold, NJ and played around with a brand-spanking new Audi A8. In fact, the only A8 we could get into that day happened to be one that was just taken off of the delivery truck. So it still have plastic wrapping on the outside and cardboard and plastic on the inside. Some of the screens even still had the plastic protectors on them (which we weren’t allowed to take off, so we apologize about the Virtual Cockpit being partially blocked).
In the video, we walk you through the two different touchscreens, what they do, some of their functionality and how well they work. One thing that’s important to note for all skeptics is the system’s haptic feedback and pressure-sensitive touch. So if you lightly touch any icon on the screen, it just highlights but doesn’t actually “press”. If you press harder, you hear an audible click, indicating a successful button press. This allows you to sort of hunt around on the screen for what you want to press before actually pulling the trigger, which makes mistakes less frequent while on the move. (It must be noted, we weren’t allowed to drive the A8 so we couldn’t test it on the move).
There’s also a lot of customization allowed with the menus and icons, so you can set things up where you like them, making it much easier to find things while driving. If you’ve placed the buttons where you want them, you can more easily press them without looking.
Overall, the system works better than expected and it should surprise some touchscreen skeptics, as it did with this one.