GERMAN CAR MAKER Audi has revealed that it will start shipping cars with LTE communications capabilities and that the latest models such as the A3 will feature in-car systems powered by Nvidia's Tegra 3 quad-core processor.
The car maker touted its Audi Connect concept that enables vehicles to communicate with the surrounding environment. Users will be able to connect any smartphone through their cars via its Phone Box feature, for example.
Audi chief executive engineer Ricky Hudi explained that near field communications (NFC) will be used to help transmit the signal from the phone to an outside antenna. With LTE connectivity, users will be able to "access content eleven times faster than at present", he said.
Audi also unveiled a Multi-Media Interface (MMI) system that will be powered by an Nvidia Tegra 3 quad-core processor.
"This system will be able to compute 3D graphics in real-time and present them on the display," he said.
"Audi is the only car manufacturer to offer integration of Google Earth and Google Street View online. Our system provides photo-realistic views down to 30 metres. It makes it much easier to navigate the car."
He said that Audi is working on expanding its lane assist system and plans to offer "piloting driving". When the car approaches congestion, it will detect this and offer the driver the chance to hand over control so the driver can use this time for a phone call, Hudi suggested.
The car will be fully aware of all surroundings and once the congestion is passed the driver will be able to regain control. The system will be designed to be similar to how planes are flown with auto-pilots, hence the "piloting" term.
Audi doesn't want to create "impersonal body moving machines", Hudi added. µ
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