LAS VEGAS - At the 2010 CES, Audi and NVIDIA came together to announce the integration of NVIDIA GPUs in all 2010 Audi models equipped with the third-generation multimedia interface system along with technology advances to provide even more sophisticated graphics in the years to come.
This advanced technology allows motorists to get clearer, more specific information faster to help them navigate to destinations and points of interest on their journeys. And it delivers information motorists need in an integrated fashion through their vehicle's systems further helping them to focus on the road.
While this partnership marks an exciting moment in the intersection of automobiles and technology, it also underscores a less obvious fact: Audi is fully immersed in a new industry. And it's one that operates differently.
Traditionally, the speed of evolution in the tech world has progressed at a faster pace than the pace seen in the capital-intensive auto industry. Developing a new vehicle has typically taken four to seven years - far longer than the technology sector's pace of evolution, which can be measured in months. That development gap has posed challenges to bringing the latest progress in the automotive and technology industries together.
Audi took on that challenge with a two-pronged approach: To stay ahead of the needs of demanding luxury car consumers, Audi sought out makers of the very best technology in Silicon Valley, as seen with the collaboration with NVIDIA. Second, Audi engineers allowed for greater technological flexibility into the newest and upcoming models so updates in processing power and convenience features, such as navigation, could be seamlessly integrated mid-cycle. That means Audi can bring the best technology to market without having to wait for the next generation of a model to arrive.
"Luxury car consumers increasingly expect crisp and intuitive navigations systems," said Johan de Nysschen, President, Audi of America. "That required us to be flexible enough to incorporate rapid technology change and to seek out the best providers of technology solutions. The Audi philosophy is to provide leading technology integrated in a way that allows motorists to drive safely."
The results of the Audi strategy in visual computing came to market with the launch of the Q5 crossover vehicle in early 2009. The third-generation multimedia interface, or 3G MMI, found the Q5 set new benchmarks for navigation graphics with photorealistic depictions of points of interest, 3D graphics and rapid refresh rates.
Only a few months later came even more advanced automotive graphics and functionality with the 3G MMI navigation plus system that will be included with the next-generation Audi A8 flagship luxury sedan. The 2011 Audi A8 will have the capability to display Google Earth mapping for navigation and point of interest search - a significant advance above traditional navigation systems.
During today's press conference with NVIDIA, Audi continues to look ahead.
"We designed our new Tegra processor to provide a completely new experience, one that's perfectly suited for the navigation, entertainment and safety demands of the road," said Jen-Hsun Huang, President and Chief Executive Officer, NVIDIA. "Audi is the most innovative company in the auto industry, and our partnership is based on a shared commitment to delivering the best mobile experience available on Earth."
Automotive cycles are long, which has typically slowed the pace of innovation in automotive electronics. NVIDIA's Next Generation Tegra processor provides a way for automotive companies to keep up with innovation.
New Audi vehicles in 2012-2013 will be powered by Tegra, which will allow 3D visuals that are richer than ever, unmatched multimedia and a complete web experience on a variety of devices. Better yet, this next-generation processor will offer increased system performance with 10x less power consumption to improve the efficiency of Audi vehicles.