Three new in-vehicle systems powered by the NVIDIA Tegra Visual Computing Module (VCM) will soon begin shipping in Audi’s vehicles.
These innovative solutions, disclosed at the German automaker’s press conference at the 2014 International Consumer Electronics Show, include:
- a connected infotainment system with twice the performance of its predecessor;
- the world’s first automotive-grade tablet that is fully integrated into the car’s infotainment system; and
- a high-resolution digital cockpit with unprecedented, vivid 3D graphical displays.
“Audi is a true leader in the development of advanced vehicle electronics,” said Taner Ozcelik, Vice President and General Manager of Automotive at NVIDIA. “Breakthroughs like the first navigation system based on Google Earth and the first automotive-grade tablet demonstrate Audi’s strategy to fast track consumer electronics technology into the car.”
The Tegra VCMs powering these systems are highly flexible platforms, incorporating an automotive-grade NVIDIA Tegra mobile processor with an NVIDIA 4-Plus-1™ core CPU, a multi-core GPU and dedicated audio, video and image processors.
The Tegra VCM uniquely enables carmakers to slide the most current processors into their electronics systems, allowing for faster evolution of in-vehicle systems as newer hardware becomes available. This modularity dramatically narrows the technology gap that has traditionally existed between consumer electronics and the long development lifecycles of in-vehicle systems.
Building on Audi’s modular infotainment platform, known as MIB and introduced in 2012, the automaker’s next-generation platform will begin appearing in next year’s models.
The award-winning Audi Connect system brings an unprecedented level of integration into the car, enabling Google Earth and Google Street View navigation, as well as real-time traffic and parking information – all accessible via speech and handwriting recognition. The newest system, powered by Tegra 3, will more than double the performance of its predecessor.
Audi also launched a new category of mobile device, known as a Smart Display. This multimedia computer powered by a Tegra 4 processor is designed for rear-seat use, yet seamlessly integrates with the car’s audio and video systems. It has been hardened to withstand a wide range of operational conditions, from -40 degrees Celsius to 80 degrees Celsius, and to withstand the shocks and vibrations that driving conditions can present.
Featuring a 10.2-inch screen, the dockable tablet runs the latest version of the Android operating system, with full access to Google Play and the Android App Store for hundreds of thousands of e-books, music, games and films that can be enjoyed by passengers in the car.
“Audi and NVIDIA engineers work closely together to develop hardware and software that truly delight customers,” said Mathias Halliger, chief architect of Infotainment Systems at Audi. “With the flexible VCM platform, we are able to quickly bring to market a new generation of Tegra-based infotainment systems, as well as an integrated mobile computer, matching the rapid cadence of the consumer electronics industry.”
Cockpit of the Future
Additionally, Audi unveiled a new, fully digital instrument cluster, powered by Tegra 3. The virtual cockpit – which will first appear in the 2015 Audi TT sports coupe – delivers clearly presented information to the driver on a 12.3-inch, high-definition display.
The virtual cockpit features refined digital gauges with smooth needle animation, as well as beautiful 3D maps, delivering an elegant, informative display. Drivers have the ability to configure the dashboard controls based on their personal preferences.
“The cockpit of the future is about creating an appealing and useful experience while minimising distraction,” said Robert Kolar, leader of Instrument Cluster Systems at Audi. “NVIDIA enables us to easily achieve this goal.”