Nearly 50 new vehicles made their North American debut at this year’s Los Angeles Auto Show. And several automakers also used the occasion to introduce their latest vehicle technologies, with an emphasis on forward compatibility and newly visualized cockpits and interiors.
Case in point is Audi’s new MIB-2 (Modular Infotainment Platform), which is the automaker’s answer to shortening the technology development cycle through the use of newer, more powerful embedded processors. The MIB-2 uses the NVIDIA Tegra 30 system that not only offers impressive multitasking and graphics processing performance, but also has the ability to accept software upgrades that allow the system to offer future features, device compatibility and advanced communication functions that are not available today. This system debuts in the 2016 Audi A6 and A7 model lines.
Also on display is an entirely digital dashboard – a virtual cockpit – that Audi claims is an industry first. A 12.3-inch TFT display capable of 3D graphics replaces the instrument cluster, yet replicates traditional gauges such as speedometer tachometer through graphics rendered at 60 frames per second, courtesy of the NVIDIA T30 processor. We saw an earlier version of this concept at the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show, displayed in an Audi TT (which will feature the technology it its 2016 model year).
Mercedes Benz also used the LA Auto Show to showcase its collection of technologies ranging from the here-and-now to future concepts. An interior developed at the Mercedes Benz R&D center in Sunnyvale, California has been conceived to leverage the new freedoms made possible by future autonomous driving and utilizes some interesting developments in gesture, touch and eye-detection control. High-backed, lounge-style seats can even rotate in a face-to-face configuration that allows passengers to converse more intimately. The outside world, with its pedestrians, vehicle traffic and buildings, are brought into the interior via wrap-around display technology.
Commenting on the implications of their autonomous vehicle program, a Mercedes spokesperson confirmed that autonomous vehicles will become commonplace and “socially accepted” in the cities of the future. “With the (S500) new luxury-class interior concept, the car of the future will become… a variable and private area of retreat in increasingly dense urban traffic. By virtue of this new form of travel, the occupants of autonomous vehicles will have the freedom to put their time spent traveling to even more varied use.”
Interiors such as this are sure to deliver on that promise in the near future.
Source: Audi showcases MIB-2 technology and virtual cockpit – Audi North America