The first car I remember was my parent’s dark green 1972 Audi 100 LS Coupé, in which I was driven to the Alpine meadows where I took my first steps. Ever since I’ve had an irrational affinity for Audis — but they are the Apple Computer of cars. Glad to see, then, that Audi is introducing a new concept car at the Los Angeles Auto Show today that comes with Google Earth built in. The complete excerpt from the long press release:
Google Earth, the interactive, three-dimensional atlas of the world, has gained a firm role on all personal computers. Now this software is making life easier on the road too. Audi has, for the first time ever, brought together the merits of the internet-based system Google Earth and its own built-in navigation system to create countless information facilities with user-friendly graphics.
The high-resolution display and photorealistic 3D maps provide a new dimension in intuitively understandable bird’s eye visualisations that are rich in detail. The image angle and section can of course be adjusted to suit the driver’s wishes at any time. By connecting to the internet, it will also be possible in future for traffic and weather information or even data on air quality to be included and taken into account in planning your route.
Using Google Earth’s search function, the driver can also find addresses or service providers at the chosen destination and navigate directly to them — for instance restaurants, car parks or an Audi dealer.
To enter a navigation destination, there is no longer any need to enter the address by hand. The driver can click on an image in the Google Earth user interface and be directed to the identified destination.
Yum, Google Earth on a touch screen. Considering that Audi is the luxury division of Volkswagen, it is not too much of a stretch to assume that this Google Earth installation is a refinement of the prototype demoed by Volkswagen 18 months ago. Also, I approve of the assumption that soon all cars will have their own HSDPA data connection. Alas, the car is still a concept car. Another problem: I haven’t owned a car since 1993:-)