LIVE FROM CES 2016: Audi showcased its e-tron quattro concept, highlighting the location cloud supplied by HERE, which it recently acquired along with BMW and Daimler, and discussed partnerships with Qualcomm and Nvidia.
According to Ricky Hudi, executive vice president of electronic development at the German carmaker, data and cloud technology will be the major drivers of innovation in the automobile industry, where electrification, connectivity and autonomous driving are the dominating trends.
The location cloud will play an important role here – formed by real time maps and location specific data provided by HERE.
This will help Audi “take the automobile to an entirely new level by providing a thoroughly end to end customer experience.”
He also announced that Audi is collaborating with Nvidia so it can integrate technology quickly and “run the same innovation cycle as the consumer electronics industry,” and that from this year Audi will use Qualcomm’s Snapdragon technology in its vehicles.
Hudi said Audi will provide a seamless connected experience in the car by increasing customer centricity (using data of a driver’s habits and preferences) and creating context awareness (by harnessing data delivered by other vehicles and the internet).
However, he again emphasised that the major source of information will come from the location cloud, adding that digitisation will redefine the properties of the car and that the degree of this transformation “will be incomparable to what we know since the invention of the automobile.”
Hudi talked up the “interior of the future” that Audi has designed, including a virtual exterior mirror that will eliminate blind spots for drivers, as well as the MMI touch response and virtual dashboard including navigation and entertainment options that can be operated with minimum distraction.
He also announced that the zFAS controller, a central driver assistance controller which will be the core of Audi’s future piloted driving and is smaller in size than an average tablet, is ready for mass production