AUDI looks set to steal a march over its competitors by tapping in to the growing popularity of tablet computers in a big way.
The Android-based portable Audi Smart Display, seen for the first time at this month’s CES trade show for consumer electronics in Las Vegas, can be used to control and interact with in-car systems but can also be used outside the car as well – a so-called ‘tablet to go’.
Other manufacturers have clearly already been influenced by touch-screen tablet technology.
Mercedes, for example, has a tablet-like display that stands proud of the dash on some models, although despite appearances this is fixed in place, rather than detachable. The Tesla S has a huge central touch-screen display that is intuitively familiar to anyone accustomed to playing with an iPad, but Audi’s approach is the most ambitious yet.
The Audi Smart Display has a 10.2-inch screen and connects with Audi cars via wi-fi. Front or rear seat passengers can use the tablet to control the car’s radio, navigation and other infotainment systems, as well as tapping into the car’s cellular connection for Internet access.
Because it is based on Android, it also provides access to tens of thousands of apps via the Google Play store.