I was fortunate to attend the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show this Thursday, January 6th, and see the inaugural keynote by Rupert Stadler Chairman of the Board, Audi.
As you know, CES held in Las Vegas each year is the premier event that is attended by the consumer electronics industry and increasingly the automotive community. Tomorrow, Friday I look forward to hearing from Alan Mulally, the Ford CEO, who will present the next step for Ford SYNC. We have two automotive leaders as keynotes this year!!!
Today, Mr. Stadler in a highly polished and engaging presentation, fitting of CES, confirmed why many think Audi is leading the auto industry in infotainment. The Audi Multi Media Interface (MMI) is the industry leading HMI with the right choice of displays, haptics, and now engaging 3D graphics, thanks to the relationship to NVIDIA. Edmunds.com thinks so too!
The Audi's A8 sedan is now the winner of the 2011 Edmunds.com Breakthrough Technology Award. This award is given to a vehicle that sets the standard for intuitive, practical and affordable technology.
Look out Ford MyTouch!! This award to Audi by Edmunds precedes a less than favorable report by Consumer Reports on the Ford Edge and Ford MyTouch. Telematics Update recently commissioned a comprehensive report on the Advanced HMI.
We interviewed 30 or more experts that rated Ford SYNC, the Audi A8, and the BMW 5 Series with the redesigned iDrive as Best-in-Class executions.
It’s important to ask what exactly has Audi done right? In my opinion:
• An infotainment architecture that functionally integrates and “supercharges” – employs new computing platforms based on the ARM and NVIDIA solutions. Note: We are seeing NVIDIA and ARM chips sets being used throughout CES.
• Flawless execution of the HMI – new technologies such as color Heads-up displays and touchpad’s being developed. Voice and haptics appropriately used.
• A rich and appropriate offering of safety (e.g. ACC with collision warning) and infotainment features (e.g. Google maps and now 3D maps for more realism).
Audi is not “blindly following” or implementing Consumer Electronic features, but carefully thinking through what is appropriate for the car. Mr. Stadler, reminded us what Henry Ford said regarding the first car he ever built:
"If I'd asked my customers what they wanted, they'd have said a faster horse”