2011 Audi A8 To Feature Extensive Google Maps/Earth Services

Among the 2011 Audi A8’s plethora of new high-tech features is the integration of various Google services intoAudi’s multimedia interface (MMI) system. For the first time ever in a production vehicle, a Google Maps/Earth-based navigation system is now an option, allowing for the transfer of internet content via the mobile phone network.
Once equipped with the optional GPRS/EDGE modem, the MMI Navigation Plus allows drivers to search online via Google for points-of-interest. Displayed on the virtual map through an 8" LCD, the results can be used as destination points on Google Maps. Don’t want to mix driving and online browsing? MMI Navigation Plus allows you to import data you have found on Google Maps from the comforts of home.
An even more comprehensive suite of Google Earth services will be made available from mid 2010 with the introduction of the new UMTS modem, a device that allows faster data transfer, and the consequent use of Google Earth. You can expect “High resolution three-dimensional satellite and aerial imagery for the entire globe and a worldwide database of photos and information articles”, as Google/Audi puts it.
A8 drivers only need to insert their SIM card into the MMI Navigation Plus, or pair their mobile phone with the onboard system using Bluetooth, to access the Google services. No additional contracts are required on the mobile-phone-plan side of things.
Sounds great? Yes, but know that the Google services will be available in selected markets only, and of course, you need to afford the hugely expensive A8 in the first place.


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