Audi shows off 'Smart Display' Android-powered in-car tablet

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
German automaker Audi on Tuesday unveiled the Mobile Audi Smart Display, a bespoke Android-powered tablet that marks the next stage of the company's plan to integrate Google's mobile operating system more deeply into its future vehicles.

Mobile Audi Smart Display
The Mobile Audi Smart Display | Source: Reviewed.com


In what is perhaps an early glimpse of Audi's goal as a member of the new Open Automotive Alliance, the marque touts the Smart Display as a step toward a new, modularized infotainment architecture. Such a strategy would allow for periodic hardware and software updates even years after the car leaves the dealer's lot, according to a report from USA Today.

Audi's tablet communicates with the vehicle via in-car Wi-Fi and is designed as a way for passengers to interact with and control the car's infotainment system. The Smart Display is said to have been designed to survive collisions and to withstand the wild temperature swings vehicular electronics must cope with.

"It has been developed specifically for in-car use," Audi development executive Ricky Hudi told the paper.

Mobile Audi Smart Display
The Mobile Audi Smart Display | Source: Reviewed.com


Vital vehicle information could also be relayed by the tablet. One hands-on snap shows a display featuring a tachometer, speedometer, and fuel range calculations as well as oil level and tire pressure alerts.

The automaker's alignment with Mountain View, Calif.-based Google was first reported late last month when word broke that the two companies would team up to counter Apple's iOS in the Car initiative. The union became official on Monday with the announcement of the Open Automotive Alliance, a Google-led consortium that also boasts General Motors, Honda, Hyundai, and nVidia as members.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 157
    Hate to say I told you so, but...........
  • Reply 2 of 157
    Goodbye Audi, Hello BMW.
  • Reply 3 of 157
    dimmokdimmok Posts: 359member
    Siri says.....bad move Audi.
  • Reply 4 of 157
    bloggerblogbloggerblog Posts: 1,808member
    That's what happens when you drag your feet, Apple.

    Audi is massively important, they're owned by VW who own 12 car brands, and VW tends to use the same technology across most of their brands.

    Here's a video of Lamborghini's infotainment system using Google's tech:


    As you'll hear in the video @3:00, he says that the UI will be different in Audi, VW, and Lamborghini "... the underlying horsepower and software will be the same"
  • Reply 5 of 157
    buckalecbuckalec Posts: 192member
    "MyDesk" - exhibit A
  • Reply 6 of 157
    jkichlinejkichline Posts: 1,316member

    Audi servicing costs were already too high. Now you'll have to take your car in to get malware uninstalled, if you don't crash your car because of the laggy interface.

  • Reply 7 of 157
    bighypebighype Posts: 148member
    LOL… this looks like crap. No wonder all the premium manufacturers went with Apple.
  • Reply 8 of 157
    Worst than ......(please help me to find a word)
  • Reply 9 of 157
    Goodbye Audi - it's been swell, but I don't want a Droid in my car. Too bad as I wanted to buy a 2014 A4. Hello BMW - it'll be good to get back to you. My iPhone and I will see you soon.
  • Reply 10 of 157
    bloggerblogbloggerblog Posts: 1,808member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by bighype View Post



    LOL… this looks like crap. No wonder all the premium manufacturers went with Apple.

    Um, Audi was one of the "premium manufacturers," so were Honda and General Motors who also seem to have joined the Android alliance.

    http://www.engadget.com/2014/01/06/google-open-automotive-alliance-android-cars/

  • Reply 11 of 157
    jkichlinejkichline Posts: 1,316member

    My 3-year old son was sick yesterday and crapped in the bathtub. That's about how bad this is. What a hot, steamy mess.

  • Reply 12 of 157

    Anyone that says they will not buy an Audi now is being ridiculous.  And I wouldn't be surprised to see many more companies join the OAA in the near future.  There is basically nothing for them to lose by joining and gaining additional functionality for their products.  I understand that a super small number of very passionate apple fans will not buy their cars now but I think it's fair to assume that this is a tiny sliver of their entire customer base.     

     

    Also While some will make ridiculous comments about malware and updates let me precede them.  Firstly, updates on this device/system will almost certainly come directly from the manufacture once the initial software is provided.  As with Amazon and the Kindle Fire, this will be a forked version that wont require updates from google to function.  Additionally as all the cars will be manufactured by the same company in this case Audi they would obviously roll out updates to every car at once eliminating the idea of fragmentation.

     

    And while many people here discuss android malware as if its a huge problem, I have yet to see any major issues with this at all.  In the wild I have yet to see any, and I have yet to see large cases.  Its most likely being extremely overestimated by people who want android to fail (it isn't).

    Android is by far the largest OS in terms of world market share, it isn't going away.  Companies would be stupid to ignore it.  When your product has world market well above 75% anyone ignoring this is being dumb.  Many more people have android phones and companies like GM, Honda, Audi, Etc know this.  Working with a company that has 10-20% market share world wide and ignore the company with 75% market share would be counterproductive to the extreme.

     

    Get over yourself, this isn't a phone its basically your cars radio and a tablet.  Everything doesn't need to be a crazy flame war.

     

    Android is moving into many new things (TVs,Appliances,Cars, ETC) it has little to do with which phone you like.  Buy all the apple phones/tablets you can afford, but at the end of the day not buying a fridge or car because it uses android is absurd.  This will not impact the drive, gas mileage, looks, or basically anything else out side adding a tablet to the car.  This has a minor impact in real world experience and I would guess that most car shoppers would find it interesting to get a free in car tablet.  They probably have no idea or interest in what OS it runs on.

     

    And as stated above, Audi is owned by VW so with this OAA announcement its a fair guess that the 12 brands VW owns and the 4 brands GM own plus the others will all run android.  Soon almost every new car will probably come with this type of system.

  • Reply 13 of 157
    schlackschlack Posts: 679member
    this does seem pointless, but it's a first step. will be interesting to see where it goes from here. but why dev their own tablet. stupid.
  • Reply 14 of 157
    jkichlinejkichline Posts: 1,316member

    No, I hate Android. It's a fragmented mess to develop for and they ripped off Apple and Oracle. I'm not buying these products because I believe that people and companies should be rewarded for their handwork in creating something new and not have their work ripped off by a bunch of lazy hackers who couldn't design their way out of a hole in the ground. I'm not buying Samsung products for the same reason. Take a look at the Android SDK sometime. Then look at the iOS SDK. Ask yourself why they couldn't stick with a proper concept of UI design for more than a year. You'll quickly realize that they are iterating so they'll find something that works.

     

    Additional, I think the notion of putting Android inside of everything is dumb. Just because you have an operating system doesn't make the device any more "smart". I have a VW GTI. It doesn't have a flashy OS, but it just plain works. Sometimes what you need are some freaking buttons and not a touchscreen.

     

    What really irritates me though about these touch screens in cars... you can't functionally use them while driving! Half the features are disabled while the car is moving in an attempt to keep you "safe". Instead, it makes things useless and more dangerous as I try to do things to get around the limitations of the system. GPS... can't even use it in my SUV while driving. So guess what? Our comes my phone to lead the way.  Everytime I plug in my iPhone, the dumb radio switches to that input even though I just wanted to charge. This means I need to take my hand off the wheel to switch the audio input back. Of course this doesn't work when you plug in the 1/8" audio cable.  The system locks up from time to time, doesn't keep accurate time, etc.

  • Reply 16 of 157
    2385amh wrote: »
    Anyone that says they will not buy an Audi now is being ridiculous.  And I wouldn't be surprised to see many more companies join the OAA in the near future.  There is basically nothing for them to lose by joining and gaining additional functionality for their products.  I understand that a super small number of very passionate apple fans will not buy their cars now but I think it's fair to assume that this is a tiny sliver of their entire customer base.     

    Also While some will make ridiculous comments about malware and updates let me precede them.  Firstly, updates on this device/system will almost certainly come directly from the manufacture once the initial software is provided.  As with Amazon and the Kindle Fire, this will be a forked version that wont require updates from google to function.  Additionally as all the cars will be manufactured by the same company in this case Audi they would obviously roll out updates to every car at once eliminating the idea of fragmentation.

    And while many people here discuss android malware as if its a huge problem, I have yet to see any major issues with this at all.  In the wild I have yet to see any, and I have yet to see large cases.  Its most likely being extremely overestimated by people who want android to fail (it isn't).
    Android is by far the largest OS in terms of world market share, it isn't going away.  Companies would be stupid to ignore it.  When your product has world market well above 75% anyone ignoring this is being dumb.  Many more people have android phones and companies like GM, Honda, Audi, Etc know this.  Working with a company that has 10-20% market share world wide and ignore the company with 75% market share would be counterproductive to the extreme.

    Get over yourself, this isn't a phone its basically your cars radio and a tablet.  Everything doesn't need to be a crazy flame war.

    Android is moving into many new things (TVs,Appliances,Cars, ETC) it has little to do with which phone you like.  Buy all the apple phones/tablets you can afford, but at the end of the day not buying a fridge or car because it uses android is absurd.

    I think your point regarding flame war is valid and we each have our preferences.

    I only have one question, how much of the 75% android market share can afford an Audi? This past holiday season, the average iOS user spent $94 purchasing products from their device while the average Android user only spent $43.

    Also, regarding Malware, whether you agree or not, there are a huge number of malware present in the android platform. Here is the current list of Android malware http://forensics.spreitzenbarth.de/android-malware/. This will give you an idea of the huge problem Android is facing with regards to malware. And just remember just because you haven't seen it, doesn't mean you don't have it.

    Google play signture system was bypassed and a lot of applications (like Angry Birds for example) were hijacked because of this issue. So when you're downloading and App you think is good, keep in mind that there could be a Trojan inside it and you will not know it.

    Peace.
  • Reply 17 of 157
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jkichline View Post

     

    No, I hate Android. It's a fragmented mess to develop for and they ripped off Apple and Oracle. I'm not buying these products because I believe that people and companies should be rewarded for their handwork in creating something new and not have their work ripped off by a bunch of lazy hackers who couldn't design their way out of a hole in the ground. I'm not buying Samsung products for the same reason. 


     

     

    image

  • Reply 18 of 157
    rcfarcfa Posts: 746member
    This is the logical consequence of Apple being too closed.
    Does anyone think the car companies want to be owned by Apple like the mobile carriers or the record labels are?
    Does anyone wonder why the rumored AppleTV still isn't a real product?
    It's all the same: just like Microsoft in the past, Apple doesn't enter into real partnerships, but aims to make any partner the underdog and dictate to them the terms.
    When you start your Audi, Audi wants you to see an Audi logo, not an Apple logo; they want Apple to show up somewhere in the Settings>About>Copyright section; Apple wants the user to think of the car as a four wheeled iPhone peripheral.
    Needless to say these two points of view are not compatible.
    A lesser car company than VW, say BMW who had declining Quality and has a sinking brand image (within it's market segment) may try to ride Apple's coat tail back to being hip again, but that may work as well for them as it does for AT&T.
    The way this needs to be solved is like ODB-II: an open industry spec protocol and a VESA-mount like standard for the in vehicle mount, and then the consumer has a choice of hardware and software; Apple's devices and apps being one of them, Apple's devices and third party apps being another; Android, Win8, Ubuntu, etc. being yet other choices of operating system with various software.
    Consumers have to stand up again for open standards; it's the only thing that provides choice and competition.
    I'd surely prefer an iOS device over some droid thing; but I don't want my car being married to any platform, I want value and features driven by competition, not high prices and complacency fueled by strategic alliances and lack of choice.
    Just compare old typewriter cloth ink ribbons (universal) to ink jet printer cartridges (designed for lock in and high-price policies), or standard razor blades vs. New-style multi-blade cartridges, etc.
    It's a massive trend to create non-standard products to castrate free market forces by decommoditzing commodities such as to be able to take away control from consumers.
  • Reply 19 of 157
    joshajosha Posts: 901member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by jkichline View Post

     

    What really irritates me though about these touch screens in cars... you can't functionally use them while driving! Half the features are disabled while the car is moving in an attempt to keep you "safe".


    Yes, very dangerous while driving.

    But this is now Google spying on where you are driving.  No way for me.

    I'm not interested in the Audi, but the VW has been my short list.

    No way I'd pay for this Google Auto spyware I'd never use.

  • Reply 20 of 157





    I only have one question, how much of the 75% android market share can afford an Audi? This past holiday season, the average iOS user spent $94 purchasing products from their device while the average Android user only spent $43.



     

    Fair point, but the idea that android uses are are poor is also incorrect.  With any large group their is a spectrum, apple users may tend to have more money on average but they are still a much smaller group.  Android definitely does sell a lot of BOGO garbage, but its best sellers as of late are phones like the S4, Note3, HTC one ect.  These phone are the same price or more expensive then the iphone 5S.  I would be willing to be that at least 5% of android uses could afford an Audi (this is being very conservative) and by some estimates android is going to sell a billion devices this year world wide.  That still leaves 50 million people even by this conservative estimate.

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