by Danny Shapiro

It was my first time at the IAC building in New York—a bold architectural icon. It was a fitting location for Audi’s debut of the A7—a stunning design icon itself. We are particularly excited about the A7 unveiling because it’s the first model to sport Audi Connect. As part of Audi’s NVIDIA-powered MMI navigation system, Audi Connect features the world’s first live Google Earth navigation in a production car, which will be available early May. Partnering with T-Mobile, Audi connects the A7 to a 4G network , making the car a truly mobile hotspot.

Audi’s impressive nav system integrates 4 layers of graphics and information for an intuitive, more informative user experience.  It’s quite the technical feat. First there is the navigation info, showing streets, landmarks, highways, turn-by-turn directions, that we’ve come to expect. Second, Audi layers on photo realistic Google Earth images, live. Third, they show traffic information, layering red/yellow/green visual indications of real-time traffic conditions. And fourth, are points of interest like gas stations, parking, ATMs, etc. Pfew. It’s a lot of to deliver in a car nav system. And Audi makes it look easy.

All this valuable graphics-intensive information is elegantly presented, so drivers can just glance at the high resolution 8” display, and immediately get a clear picture of context. We call this “Glance-Ability.”

The art of taking technology and making it look simple is something we revere and hold dear here at NVIDIA. And Audi demonstrates this masterfully, yet again.