by Danny Shapiro

Some mobile devices slip in your pocket. Others fit in your driveway.

Volkswagen just launched its latest Golf – the world’s third best-selling car – at the Paris Auto show. Available this fall, it’s longer, lower and wider than the old model. Along with a more spacious interior and more efficient engine, it features a new infotainment system powered by an NVIDIA Tegra mobile processor.

VW Golf touch screen display powered by NVIDIA Tegra.
NVIDIA’s processors power the Golf’s touch screen display.

The big trend here: automakers want infotainment systems that have the performance and features that customers experience in their phones and tablets, but are safely integrated into the vehicle.

Given the longer development cycles of a car, the trick is that the system needs to be easily upgraded to match the frenetic pace of innovation in the consumer electronics industry.

So that meant the Volkswagen Group turned to NVIDIA.  In addition to the Golf, Tegra has already been built into the Audi A3 and will arrive in the Skoda Octavia soon. Like today’s smartphones, the Golf’s new navigation system will offer real-time Google navigation , and, of course, rich interactive graphics. It’s all served up through a touch screen.

In addition to a Tegra system-on-a-chip, the Golf’s new infotainment system can include a telephone module, tuner modules, a six-channel high-performance amplifier, and a DVD drive.

NVIDIA’s automotive products can be found in a wide range of cars, including the Tesla Model S, the Audi A7, and Lamborghini Aventador.