Audi Plans to Introduce Android Auto Connection Starting 2015
Audi just became more appealing to technophiles today after the company announced its integration of Google’s Android Auto, which was unveiled today at Google’s I/O annual technologies conference in San Francisco. Like Apple’s CarPlay, Android Auto will combine the user’s smartphone with their car’s in-dash infotainment system in a seamless manner that’s conducive for safe driving free of distractions.
Audi’s integration of Android Auto means a lot of new voice controls for Google Play Music, Google Maps, and other functions. Video and multimedia, along with text-rich items won’t be displayed while the car is in motion, but will become available when in Park.
The system comes alive when an Android smartphone is connected to a compatible Audi. A prompt appears asking if the user wants to display their apps through the MMI system. Once chosen to do so, the system basically uses the MMI screen as an interface for the smartphone. Audio streams and microphone inputs are all routed through the car.
What’s more, Audi says the Android Auto system will be available within a number of 2015 model year vehicles, meaning Android Auto-equipped Audis will be roaming the streets starting sometime this fall. Of course Audi ensures that Android Auto-equipped car will not prohibit users from connecting non-Android smartphones like iPhones or Blackberries, but the full functionality of the system won’t be accessible.
Click past the jump to read more about Audi’s Android Auto Connection.
Why It Matters
Google’s entrance into the in-car infotainment system means Apple has a fight on its hands. At the moment, however, we don’t know if automakers will be integrating both Google and Apple systems in each of their cars, but the idea seems only logical. It’s unlikely that customers will chose what smartphone or car to buy as it relates to the other, so automakers will have to integrate both designs in order to refrain from alienating certain smartphone users.
Besides the technical stuff, the addition of Google’s Android Auto is good news for consumers. Those committed Android users — and boy are they committed! — now have a list of compatible automakers set to integrate Android Auto in their products. That list not only includes Audi, but also Ford, Fiat Chrysler, General Motors, Hyundai, Honda, Nissan, and Volkswagen.
The RS7 is one of Audi’s hottest cars these days. It’s powerful twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V-8 cranks out a large 560 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque. Of course, Audi’s all-wheel-drive system is standard, making the car a competent handler both on the track and in foul weather. The extra grip afforded by spinning all four tires helps get the RS7 to 60 mph in just 3.9 seconds on its way to a top speed of 189.5 mph.
The RS7’s design takes after the popular four-door coupe styling made popular by the Mercedes CLS. The Audi’s roof design features that very coupe-like sloping design over the rear passenger compartment that looks rather sporty, but also and unfortunately, begins to crowd rear seat headroom. Those under six feet shouldn’t have a problem though.
The RS7 is the sportier version of the A7 which it shares much of its platform and design. The biggest obvious differences are the engine and suspension upgrades from the A7’s supercharged 3.0-liter V-6 to the RS7’s twin-turbocharged, 4.0-liter V-8. Starting price for the RS7 starts at a cool $104,900 while the lesser A7 starts at only $64,500.