2010 will be the year of the connected car

15 Feb 2010

MOBILE WORLD CONGRESS 2010, BARCELONA – Cars kitted out with the latest 3G connectivity are due to hit the market this year, as demonstrated by the latest Audi A8 Models at the 2010 Mobile World Congress today.

Qualcomm and Audi AG revealed that Audi’s Mobile Media Interface (MMI) Plus in-car navigation system, featuring integrated UMTS connectivity from Qualcomm, will be available on select Audi A8 vehicles this year.

The solution brings 3G high-speed data connectivity to the automobile and enables previously unseen navigation capabilities. The MMI’s embedded 3G connectivity also allows the car to perform as a mobile “hot spot,” allowing passengers to connect their Wi-Fi devices to the internet from the vehicle.

Demonstrated in an Audi A5 Cabriolet, the connected MMI Plus system and several other connected car technologies were displayed at Qualcomm’s stand.

“Audi strives to deliver a cutting-edge automotive experience, and increasingly that has meant not only the best-in-class automotive technology, but also complementary capabilities that bring greater value to our customers,” said Peter Kohlschmidt, director of development in Wireless, Acoustic and Connectivity for Audi.

“We are pleased to be working with Qualcomm, the world’s largest provider of wireless chipset solutions, to bring a new type of connected experience to Audi A8 models this year.”

Audi A8 vehicles with the MMI Plus navigation system

The newest generations of Audi A8 vehicles with the MMI Plus navigation system will have high-speed data connectivity and simultaneous voice and data connections enabled by Qualcomm’s technology.

Audi has made the most of this connectivity by integrating Google Earth to provide high-resolution, 3D satellite and aerial imagery to the navigation system. When these images are combined with a detailed street atlas and other online or offline content in real-time, the MMI Plus navigation system can provide route planning, points-of-interest and real-time traffic updates on a single, seamlessly integrated platform.

“This shows consumers just how compelling the mixture of navigation and 3G connectivity technologies can be,” said Luis Pineda, senior vice-president of product management and marketing at Qualcomm CDMA Technologies.

“By integrating Qualcomm UMTS modem technology with their MMI Plus navigation system, Audi will give its customers a navigation experience unlike any other, backed by real-time data and imagery,” Pineda said.

By John Kennedy

Read more Mobile World Congress-related news:

Spending on wireless surpassed US$1 trillion in 2009

Irish mobile tech showcased at MWC

24 phone operators challenging app store dominance

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years