With all the buzz of future vehicle integration of Android, you didn’t expect some of the world’s largest and most luxurious Auto manufacturers to stay out of the game did you? We didn’t either. We’ve seen luxury branded Android devices before, like the Lamborghini Antares smartphone, but as of yesterday, after a completely packed Keynote press event from Audi we get a sneak peak at the first Android Tablet manufactured by a car company. After their press event, Audi debuted and showed off their upcoming brand new Android Tablet that is meant to integrate with its vehicles, and act as an interfacing smart display that allows passengers to interact with it and access useful information as well as entertainment. Audi is calling this Android based tablet the Mobile Audi Smart Display, and it connects to the vehicle through a WiFi interface.
This isn’t a giant surprise after Google’s announcement about the Open Auto Alliance, but it certainly is a tad bit shocking, and also equal parts exciting. If you’re a passenger inside one of these Audi vehicles with a connected Mobile Audi Smart Display, you’ll be able to use the tablet to access the cars “infotainment” system, as well as other Android features. This is a full featured Android Tablet after all. Audi’s Head of Development Rick Hudi was captured saying that the Mobile Audi Smart Display “was developed specifically for in-car use”, although it is unconfirmed whether it can be used outside of the vehicle as well. The Mobile Audi Smart Display comes with a 10.2 inch screen and is cased inside aluminum, as it was designed for crash tests and extreme temperatures. It’s also powered by an NVIDIA Tegra 4 chip, so chances are it can handle quite a bit in terms of functions.
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Passengers who are using the device will be able to control and manage a whole slew of the cars functions, like music, navigation, and phone calls. The tablet, since it works as any other Android device would, also has access to the Google Play Store, so any apps within the Play Store are capable of being downloaded and installed onto the device and are usable. This means games and media content as well. There is no word just yet on when the Mobile Audi Smart Display will be available for purchase, or how much it will set the buyer back. If more information happens to trickle out about Audi’s new venture into the Android Device world, we’ll be sure post it all here. Do you drive an Audi or know someone who does? Let us know what you think about the Mobile Audi Smart Display in the comments.