Car Maker Audi shows off their own Android Tablet [VIDEO]

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The future of automotive tech is bright and exciting. At CES 2014, Google and it’s partners formed the Open Automotive Alliance, hoping to revolutionize the automotive tech industry just as Android and the OHA revolutionized mobile. One of those partners – Audi – wasted no time, showing off a sleek Audi Android Tablet soon to be found in their cars.

The tablet is pictured with the Audi S8 but isn’t yet offered in any Audi models and likely won’t be for at least another year. They did, however, have a demonstration of the tablet’s unique auto-focused features.

A few feature examples seen in the below video:

  • Passenger uses mapping feature on the tablet to find destinations, points of interest, traffic patterns, etc… and beam the destination to the driver’s console, instantly updating it with turn-by-turn directions.
  • Driver can insert DVD and beam it to the passenger’s console for entertainment purposes
  • Control everything from windows, doors, sunroofs, temperature, etc… all from the tablet
  • Detach tablet from holder and use it as a full Android tablet running Android 4.3 (upgrading to 4.4 soon)

The future of automotive tech is bright and exciting indeed, but don’t forget uncertain and unstable. Shortly after CES, a California court struggled to identify the role technology should play in vehicles, legalizing the wearing of Google Glass when driving (in California) but suggesting that operating the device while driving would break the law.

The balance between improving the automotive experience and encouraging illegal driver distractions is a delicate one, and in this case, Audi distinctly avoids the latter. It’s important to reiterate that this Audi Android Tablet is designed for use by passengers, not the driver.

The tablet will have it’s own mounted display in a passenger convenient position, allowing detachment and interaction with the display, settings, and software of the car as a whole. Below you’ll see the main dash and Audi Android Tablet side by side.

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That doesn’t mean the company isn’t exploring more immersive driving experiences as well. The financial risks of investing in technology that could potentially be rendered unlawful are huge, a burden likely softened by the Open Automotive Alliance, allowing participating companies to jointly shoulder the burden and collectively reap the benefits.

 

Beautiful car. Beautiful tablet. Beautiful synergy.

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This is just the tip of a beautiful iceberg… hopefully the titanic US Government can get out of their own way and avoid a head on collision.

The founding members of the Open Automotive Alliance consists of Google, Audi, GM, Honda, Hyundai, and NVIDIA. Look for these leaders to make some huge plays in the auto-tech space in the next couple years.

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  • No_Nickname90

    I don’t see how using something like this is different that using a Touchscreen radio.

    From another point of view, I would love to start seeing this more standard. I dock my Nexus 7 in my car and use it as my radio every now-and-then. It’s pretty cool, I guess.

  • Brian Menius

    “Control everything from windows, doors, sunroofs, temperature, etc… all from the tablet.”

    I fully expect that this functionality should be available by default in the Audi Connect app for existing cars. This would assume, I guess, that a car-side dedicated SIM is in place at all times, so it’s probably not as useful for someone using an rSAP-capable Android phone to clone the SIM and power the Audi Connect experience, but still…

    • Gideon Waxfarb

      Yeah, if I want to keep the car for 10 years, that tablet is gonna be outdated after 2 or 3. Just give me a tablet mount in the car, and then an app in the Play store.

  • hemipw54

    STILL NOT LEGAL TO DRIVE WITH GOOGLE GLASS TURNED ON!
    Make that perfectly clear and stop the kiddy stuff about Google Glass is legal to wear, you are giving a false perception of the law and can get someone else in trouble, you will pay the ticket if someone gets ticketed right Phandroid team? Just as I thought.

    • max

      Who cares?

  • Jay

    I’ll pass, my Nexus 7 works just fine tilting it up against the radio

  • Truffol

    This looks cool. It’s not so much the hardware but the underlying lifestyle it’s starting to promote. To have an up-to-date car infotainment system, the driver really needs a way to update it over the air frequently, and using the tablet as a medium and updating it at home sounds like a convenient way of doing it to me. Let’s hope all car manufacturers share the same tablet design so people with multiple vehicles aren’t limited to one brand.

  • bigdawgx

    Android is making headway with car mfg now? This will make it harder for MS and BB to catch But I thought the car is where BB QNX would have been able to take advantage and grow.

  • master94

    Audi a car company is running newer software than some of the stuff shown off in CES, That is just sad. Come one OEMs.

  • MK2

    Immerse infotainment is a huge part of making self driving vehicles successful. Keeping the driver glued to the car’s devices instead of their own devices allows the car to get their attention when they need to take over. This is a good start.