Android Auto: Audi, Why not use a Touch Screen?

Audi Q7 AH 1

By now, many of you probably know of all the manufacturers that are planning to offer Android Auto in their 2016 models. Which include Audi, Buick, Chevrolet, GMC, Honda, Hyundai and a few others. While we still haven’t heard anything from Ford and Chrysler, which is surprising seeing as they are part of Google’s Open Automotive Alliance.

Audi has announced plans for Android Auto, with the 2016 Q7 being the first to have Android Auto inside. We got a chance to check out the implementation at NAIAS in January here in Detroit, which it was a very, very early build. Audi was at Google I/O this past summer showing it off in the Audi Q7 as well. And one thing struck me as a bit weird and not very intuitive. The fact that they are using a dial to navigate through Android Auto. Now, Audi wanted to use features and controls that they already have in the car, and that their customers are used too. But it would be nice to still have a touchscreen. As it would be easier to navigate through the Android Auto system, at least in our opinion.

Now we haven’t had the opportunity to use the finished product in the Q7. The 2016 Audi Q7 won’t be available until early 2016, and we are working with Audi to get our hands on a model to do a review for all of you. So far, I think it’s the most unintuitive implementation of Android Auto. But after I get to use it a bit, that might change. However, using a dial to switch between the different panes in Android Auto, not to mention navigating through a particular Music app, is going to be a bit of a pain. We’ll have to see how easy Audi has made it in the shipping version on the Q7 early next year.

Audi is also planning to offer Android Auto in other models, including the A6. It will be available on their entire fleet in the near future, but the company is doing a bit of a slow rollout at this point. Which is understandable.