AUDI AG: The Audi A8 is “a paradigm shift” in MMI navigation

AUDI AG: The Audi A8 is “a paradigm shift” in MMI navigation

What does your company do?

AUDI AG is among the most successful luxury automotive brands globally. The company is headquartered in Ingolstadt in Germany, and has been a wholly owned subsidiary of the Volkswagen Group since 1964. During 2009, Audi outsold all other luxury brands in Europe, while in the U.S. market Audi posted the largest market share gain of any luxury automotive brand.

Tell us about the product/service that won the Telematics Update Best Embedded Telematics Navigation Product award.

Audi and Google have been named as joint winners. The new Audi A8, which celebrated its launch in Europe and other global markets in the first quarter of 2010, set the bar at new heights with regard to connected vehicle technology. The MMI navigation system in the new Audi A8 luxury sedan is available in selected markets with a variety of Google services and information via the Internet. These include Google Earth, which has been integrated into an automotive navigation system as a world first.

The A8 can retrieve up-to-date information from the Internet through the rooftop antenna via the car’s own UMTS module. The user can search online with Google for points-of-interest directly from within the MMI. The versatile search engine accepts such free text search queries as ‘delicatessen’ or ‘shoe boutique’. The results are then displayed on the onboard map or used as destinations for route calculation.

The fast data transfer of the UMTS module has allowed Audi to set a world first with the integration of Google Earth in the MMI navigation plus. Google Earth imagery and a 3D terrain model are combined with the detailed street network from the onboard navigation database as well as calculated routes in a seamless integration of online and offline content.

What does winning this award mean to your company?

We are very pleased to be recognized for our joint efforts in what we believe to be the leading edge of the infotainment arena. This recognition is an excellent example of the close cooperation between Audi and Google teams in Silicon Valley and Germany. We are convinced that this feature not only introduces a new, progressive experience to our customers, but also presents a paradigm shift in this category.

Where do you see major developments happening in the industry?

The major developments that will significantly impact the industry in the coming years will be the arrival of faster broadband wireless data networks, the ubiquitous spread of wireless data coverage, and the continued democratization of access to wireless data through affordable data pricing plans. In Europe, a major contributor to the growth of telematics services will be the continued progress by the European Union and carriers in establishing competitive cross-border data roaming pricing.

Which gadgets, gizmos, cars are on your current wish list?

The complete line up of innovative, highly connected Audi vehicles!

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