Choices, choices. Cars are becoming more and more intelligent, many of them bristling with electronic safety systems, smartphone integration, and other high-tech features. But if you had to name one car as being more innovative than all the others, which would you pick?
The folks at Edmunds.com have made their choice: the Audi A8 sedan. Last week, they bestowed the A8 with their 2011 Breakthrough Technology Award, which goes to the vehicle that "sets the standard for intuitive, practical and affordable technology that enhances safety and convenience for drivers and passengers."
According to Doug Newcomb, a senior editor at Edmunds, two technologies set the A8 apart: MMI Touch, the first automotive touchpad application, and Google Earth, which allows the navigation system to display a more realistic view of the driver's surroundings. Mr. Newcomb also cites other key features, including adaptive headlights, a rear-collision warning system, and last but not least, a 1400-watt B&O Sound System. To read his blog post, click here.
The MMI infotainment system in the Audi A8 is based on the QNX Neutrino OS, which serves as the software platform for approximately 20 million car infotainment systems worldwide. Audi also plans to use QNX Neutrino for its next-generation high-end infotainment system.
Here is an example of someone using the A8's MMI touchpad, which lets you input destinations names by tracing them with your finger:
And here is a photo of the navigation display:
Both these photos were taken at the 2010 QNX Automotive Summit, which took place in Stuttgart last November.