New control and display concepts
Another significant innovation that the brand with the four rings is presenting in the MMI area is the Audi virtual cockpit, a fully digital instrument cluster of the future. Its contemporary TFT display has a 12.3 inch diagonal. Its high resolution of 1,440 x 540 pixels makes all screen contents razor sharp, brilliant and rich in contrast. High-end animation and lighting effects round out its state-of-the-art look.
A fast graphics processor is at work in the background – Audi is the first carmaker in the world to use the Tegra 30 chip of the Tegra 3 series by Nvidia, a company with whom Audi has partnered for many years now. For the tachometer, the processor generates 60 frames per second in the Audi virtual cockpit, so that the needle shows the engine speed with absolute precision.
The driver can toggle between two user interfaces (modes) by pressing the “View” button on the multifunction steering wheel. In Infotainment mode, a central window dominates the view – it offers a big stage for the navigation map or for lists in the Phone, Radio and Audio areas. In this mode, the tachometer and speedometer, the latter with a digital display, appear as small round instruments on the left and right sides. In the Classic view, the middle window is smaller, and the instruments – with black scales, red needles and white numerals – are about as large as today’s instruments.
In the Audi virtual cockpit, the user can have any of the available information displayed – e.g. the navigation arrow, dynamic vehicle animations and images from the rear camera as well as graphics of the assistance systems. The display changes its context-related color scheme according to the main menu selected. In the Media menu, for example, the color is orange as usual, while the screen is tinted green for the Phone menu. Indicators with fixed positions are displayed along the lower border; they show the outside temperature, clock time and odometer readings as well as warning and information symbols. LEDs indicate the engine coolant temperature and fuel level.