07 January 2014

Audi taps AT&T for its 4G car; demos its future connected vehicle

Summary: Audi’s 4G cars in the U.S. will be linked to AT&T’s LTE network another big win in the automotive space for AT&T. In future Audi connected cars Nvidia and Google will also be major players.

As expected, Audi gave a sneak peak at CES Monday night of what will be under the hood of its future connected cars. They’ll be connected in the U.S. at least to AT&T’s LTE network. Nvidia’s superchip will power the infotainment console. Google software will be in the dash. And Audi’s internally developed Piloted Driving technology will take over the wheel.

Audi CEO Rupert Stadler’s keynote (Check out The Verge’s live blog of the event) brought together a lot of different news buzzing at CES. The deal represents another huge automotive win for AT&T on the same day it announced plans to become a bigger force in the connected car space. On Sunday, General Motors revealed the first Chevy models to receive AT&T’s 4G treatment, including the Corvette, Impala, Malibu and Volt. But Audi’s first U.S. 4G car, the A3, will likely beat all four to market if its released as scheduled this spring.

While we can expect see LTE connectivity in the coming months, the other technologies could take a while. Audi is working with Nvidia to integrate its new 192-core super processor announced at CES, the K1, into future infotainment systems. And while Audi is already using Google services in its infotainment systems today, it was among the list automakers today joining Google’s new Open Automotive Alliance, which will bring Android to the automobile.

As for Piloted Driving, the technology is still deep in development but it uses an assortment of lasers and cameras to map the objects around it similar to the autonomous vehicles being tested by Google and Ford. At CES, Audi showed off the brains of its driverless car, a tablet-sized computer, which Audi said is almost out of the prototype phase.


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