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Audi and NVIDIA Team Up to Bring Smart Displays, Dashboards and Tablets to Cars

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What’s better than a brand new Audi with AT&T LTE built in? A brand new Audi with LTE that has an NVIDIA software system to back it up. CES 2014 is shaping up to be the battle over your dashboard, and NVIDIA is looking to make their mark by bringing their Tegra experience and Visual Computing Module to Audis this year, and hopefully more cars down the road. 

Audi is looking to find the car of tomorrow’s dashboard and has turned to NVIDIA to help them realize it. The 12.3″ high definition display is powered by Tegra 3 and is capable of running the necessary gauges for the car alongside maps and other pertinent information at the same time. The other innovation NVIDIA and Audi are getting together to work on is the 10.2″ SmartDisplay, dockable-tablet that integrates with the car’s video and audio systems. This tablet has a full access to Google Play for all the media you would ever need to keep the kids quiet on that long road trip.

All of this is brought together by NVIDIA’s Visual Computing Module which gives automakers like Audi a stable system to implement in their vehicles. The VCM is powered by an NVIDIA Kepler CPU with a dedicated video and audio processor as well. Combine that with the news that Google is working on an Android port for cars and the future of dashboards is getting pretty exciting.

Audi and NVIDIA Expand Visual Computing in the Car

New Infotainment System, Smart Display, Digital Cockpit to Join AudiLineup, All Powered by NVIDIA Tegra Mobile Processors

LAS VEGAS—CES—Jan. 7, 2014—NVIDIA today announced that three newin-vehicle systems powered by the NVIDIA® Tegra® Visual ComputingModulehttp://www.nvidia.com/object/visual-computing-module.html(VCM)will soon begin shipping in Audi’s vehicles.

These innovative solutions, disclosed at the German automaker’s pressconference at the 2014 International Consumer Electronics Show, include:

· a connected infotainment system with twice the performance of itspredecessor;

· the world’s first automotive-grade tablet that is fullyintegrated into the car’s infotainment system; and

· a high-resolution digital cockpit with unprecedented, vivid 3Dgraphical displays.

“Audi is a true leader in the development of advanced vehicle electronics,”said Taner Ozcelik, vice president and general manager of Automotive atNVIDIA. “Breakthroughs like the first navigation system based on GoogleEarth and the first automotive-grade tablet demonstrate Audi’s strategy tofast 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 anNVIDIA 4-Plus-1™ core CPU, a multi-core GPU and dedicated audio, video andimage processors.

The Tegra VCM uniquely enables carmakers to slide the most currentprocessors into their electronics systems, allowing for faster evolution ofin-vehicle systems as newer hardware becomes available. This modularitydramatically narrows the technology gap that has traditionally existedbetween consumer electronics and the long development lifecycles ofin-vehicle systems.

Next-Generation Infotainment

Building on Audi’s modular infotainment platform, known as MIB andintroduced in 2012, the automaker’s next-generation platform will beginappearing in next year’s models.

The award-winning Audi Connect system brings an unprecedented level ofintegration into the car, enabling Google Earth and Google Street Viewnavigation, as well as real-time traffic and parking information – allaccessible via speech and handwriting recognition. The newest system,powered by Tegra 3, will more than double the performance of itspredecessor.

Automotive-Grade Tablet

Audi also launched a new category of mobile device, known as a SmartDisplay. This multimedia computer powered by a Tegra 4 processor isdesigned for rear-seat use, yet seamlessly integrates with the car’s audioand video systems. It has been hardened to withstand a wide range ofoperational conditions, from -40 degrees Celsius to 80 degrees Celsius, andto withstand the shocks and vibrations that driving conditions can present.

Featuring a 10.2-inch screen, the dockable tablet runs the latest versionof the Android operating system, with full access to Google Play and theAndroid App Store for hundreds of thousands of e-books, music, games andfilms that can be enjoyed by passengers in the car.

“Audi and NVIDIA engineers work closely together to develop hardware andsoftware that truly delight customers,” said Mathias Halliger, chiefarchitect of Infotainment Systems at Audi. “With the flexible VCM platform,we are able to quickly bring to market a new generation of Tegra-basedinfotainment systems, as well as an integrated mobile computer, matchingthe 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 the2015 Audi TT sports coupe – delivers clearly presented information to thedriver on a 12.3-inch, high-definition display.

The virtual cockpit features refined digital gauges with smooth needleanimation, as well as beautiful 3D maps, delivering an elegant, informativedisplay. Drivers have the ability to configure the dashboard controls basedon their personal preferences.

“The cockpit of the future is about creating an appealing and usefulexperience while minimizing distraction,” said Robert Kolar, leader ofInstrument Cluster Systems at Audi. “NVIDIA enables us to easily achievethis goal.”

NVIDIA Automotive Technology Driving Innovation

The power of the NVIDIA Tegra for automotive applications will bedemonstrated in NVIDIA booth 30207 at the 2014 International ConsumerElectronics Show in Las Vegas, Jan. 7-10, in the South Hall of the LasVegas Convention Center.

Today, there are more than 4.5 million cars on the road powered by NVIDIAprocessors, including the newest models from Audi, Volkswagen, Skoda, andSEAT. Find out more at www.nvidia.com/automotive.

  • Bigwavedave25

    Processor working range of -40C to 80C… wow. That was my first question when I read the article title.

  • Kevin

    tech in cars is great until it breaks.

  • Chippah

    “speedometer” is not responding wait or close?

  • socalrailroader

    I love tech, but the LAST thing we need in cars is MORE distractions.

  • http://www.rebelwithoutaclue.com/ Rebel without a Clue

    Does this mean you can play Real Racing 3 on your dashboard using the controls of your Audi?

  • http://www.toysdiva.com Toys Samurai

    I really hate this kind of integration. I mean, are they expecting us to buy a new car every 2 years? Give us a standard dock to put a tablet, and create a standard to integrate the car’s built-in system with our own tablet, we can then have the best of both worlds.

    • QPHALO

      I believe it said something like that about Google in the post.

  • TC Infantino

    They stole my idea! About time. LOL

  • http://turbofool.com Jarrett Lennon Kaufman

    What’s better than a brand new Audi with AT&T LTE built in? A brand new Audi with your choice of carriers so you’re not stuck with the most hated wireless carrier in America just because your very expensive car has decided to dictate who you’re forced to do business with for you.

    Please. Either build in a multi-band card with all current GSM, CDMA, and LTE bands and SIM support for each, or make a standarized slot that lets us trade it out for one that supports whatever’s hot at the moment, and let us choose our own fate.

    • zurginator

      Really they only need GSM… Verizon would never go for an unlocked car, and nobody with half a brain would go for Sprint.

    • QPHALO

      A space to add your device of choice and I’m sure someone would start making the spacers to make it fit, like when you are replacing your factory car radio for something better.

  • StuckOnVerizonForever

    C’mon Qualcomm. Letting the crappy NVIDIA get all these partnerships

  • Bowen9284

    One word, two syllables. Boner.

  • Jared Denman

    Instead of making a proprietary tablet why not just incorporate a nexus 7 or nexus 10?

    • Adrynalyne

      My thoughts on that would be because neither a N7 or N10 is hardy enough to last up to, what, 6-10 years of everyday use?

    • http://turbofool.com Jarrett Lennon Kaufman

      Because both devices are full of overhead and functionality that’s unnecessary to this. You can both reduce costs and improve performance and reliability by tailoring the device DIRECTLY to ONLY what it needs to do.

  • MKader17

    Officer: Do you know how fast you were going back there?
    You: No sir, my speedometer forced closed a couple miles ago.

    • Adrynalyne

      Officer: Do you know how fast you were going back there?
      You: 25? My speedometer must have been lagging.

      • Bob G

        Officer: Do you know how fast you were going back there?
        You: The speed limit just like it says here, officer (because I hacked my dash).

    • Ben Murphy

      OK that was actually pretty funny. The following replies, not so much.

      • Adrynalyne

        Where us your witty reply? No imagination?

        • Ben Murphy

          Officer: Do you know how fast you were going back there?

          You: No, but let me check droid-life.com, I’m sure @adrynalyne:disqus will let me know.

          • Adrynalyne

            C for effort.

          • Ben Murphy

            I’m only indulging you because I really couldn’t care any less.

          • Adrynalyne

            You cared enough to reply. I’m touched.

    • http://www.droid-life.com/ Eric Rees

      A+ comment. If I could give you an award for this I would.

      • Steveo

        Droid-Life Gold?

      • MKader17

        Keep me in mind when DroidLife gets its first review unit? :)

  • Ben Murphy

    My next car will be an Audi….do they do credit checks?

    • Adrynalyne

      LOL…

    • StuckOnVerizonForever

      You could win one on Price is right….then sell it because you can’t pay the taxes or insurance haha

    • Brian Menius

      You may be able to get someone to tote the note on a B5 A4 without a credit check.

  • Adrynalyne

    I really like the digitized consoles that have been coming out. This just makes them more awesome. Endless possibilities.

    Can we root it?