New Audi A8, a car for real (and wealthy) geeks

Automakers took time to incorporate new practices coming from digital and web environment in their vehicles, but it seems they finally took the train of new technologies. Although it is regrettable that – in contradiction with the democratic spirit of the web and social media – innovation are usually dedicated only to high-end cars, and

Automakers took time to incorporate new practices coming from digital and web environment in their vehicles, but it seems they finally took the train of new technologies.

Although it is regrettable that – in contradiction with the democratic spirit of the web and social media – innovation are usually dedicated only to high-end cars, and the cars brands still make you pay expensive prices for equipment which are much cheaper elsewhere. How many cars, for example, offer standard equipment (although basic) which allows to connect an mp3 player on their audio equipment?

High end cars, then. Like the new Audi A8, which will arrive in dealerships early 2010. And then we can say that as far as integration of new technologies and tips for geeks are concerned, Audi struck a great blow, going far beyond what has been proposed so far in a car.

Let’s forget the beautiful line of Audi’s flagship and its powerful precision engineering so as to focus on what is of interest for the fan of new technologies, and look closely at the car’s « web and high tech » gear.

  • Standard 14 speaker Bose system or optional 1,400 Watt, 19 speaker Bang & Olufsen system
  • Google maps-enabled GPS system with handwriting input mode (I do not know exactly whta that means, neither if it is a touch screen GPS, but it sounds a little like GPS Google Maps Navigation
  • 8-inch LCD info screen
  • 20GB hard drive. I think there are in fact 3 20GB hard drives, one for général purpose (GPS maps, Audio…) and one for each rear seat (Video, audio…)
  • USB, AUX-inputs and… WiFi
  • Dual 10.2-inch rear seat displays with its own DVD player, 20GB hard drive, and controls
  • WLAN via UMTS that turns the car into a mobile HotSpot! Yes, from now you will have to enter a PIN code on a SIM card to start your car!

Not to mention the other equipments that also make the geek’s day, as Interior LED ambient lighting system (such as daytime lights, a specialty now installed on every Audi models since 2008-2009), Vibration-canceling motor in the steering wheel, or the four climate zones.

Of course, back to our everyday lives made of WiFi, screens and storage at ridiculous prices, equipment which appear to be a feat in a luxury car (wow, a 20 GB hard drive, something that even does not exists in stores since a while!) can make us smile a bit, like a symbol of the gap between an aging industry and the rapid transformation of the digital age. But the Audi’s effort in integration, including wireless technology is still welcome.

A welcome which probably worth a little check of about 100,000 euros. The mobile web is not expensive. The automotive web a little more.

Sources : Audi et CrunchGear


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