Audi will throw the spotlight on its next-generation of driver assistance and in-car entertainment systems at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas this week.
Some technology is ready to be implemented today while other showpieces are just concepts for now, but Audi's presence at CES strengthens the automaker's stature as one of the leaders in car infotainment systems.
One piece of cutting-edge gadgetry is Audi's autonomous car technology. As Audi envisages it, cars of the near future will be able to navigate traffic jams at speeds of up to 30km/h without driver intervention.
Carparks could also be driven through without a person even present in the car, and Audi expects such a pilotless vehicle would be able to park itself in the tightest of parking spots after the driver has left the vehicle, and extricate itself at the push of a button.
MMI Touch enables the driver or front passenger to input data into the on-board computer using a touchpad rather than a knob or buttons, and is also designed to improve ease of use for customers in Asian countries where the English alphabet is not used.
While the A6 and A8 integrate the MMI Touch hardware to the side of the gear lever, the more compact dimensions of the A3's cabin mean the touchpad is instead mounted atop the main input dial for the MMI system.
There's no word as yet when MMI Touch will make its way into Australian-delivered A3s.
Audi will also show off its latest big-screen display concepts, with a pair of 11.6-inch colour screens showcasing the company's unique 3D display hardware.
One screen uses a camera to track the driver's head and aim slightly different images toward each eye to create the impression of three-dimensional depth, while the other Multi-view screen is able to produce 3D imagery for multiple viewers at a time.
With advances in mobile technology and greater demands on data transmission with features like in-car internet, Audi also announced that the latest LTE transmission standard (otherwise known as 4G) will become available in its cars before the end of 2013.
Other mobile-phone related gadgets include an inductive-loop charging station that completely does away with wires, although Audi has yet to announce a solid timeline for its introduction.
Other concepts include sophisticated Organic LED lighting arrays, ultra-bright LED headlamps and a laser rear brake light which traces a red line on the road behind the car to indicate where trailing vehicles should stay behind.
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