Best overall high-tech car: The Audi A8 | TechHive

13 May 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on Best overall high-tech car: The Audi A8 | TechHive
Audi A8

Best overall high-tech The Audi A8

Technology is the ultimate in large flagship sedans as Audi’s A8 (starting at $72,200). Wi-Fi is the latest in car tech, so part of the Audi Connect in Audi’s biggest car. Up to devices can hook up to the A8’s Wi-Fi network, which to the Internet over a high-speed LTE

That means you can hand of your kids an iPad and along serenely while occupy themselves with videos. The media interface is impressive, and the system includes Earth real-world navigation and Google Voice Local to help you hunt down resources.

The test-drive

Audi’s luxury sedan, the A8, is a good-looking and high-tech car. I say “surprisingly” initially it doesn’t look way—in fact, the car-tech main screen doesn’t emerge from the dashboard you start the vehicle.

The A8 features MMI infotainment system, which has controls and runs on an Nvidia It also offers a 3G data hotspot functionality, and Audi’s Internet-connected Audi Connect platform. The model we reviewed, the A8 L 3.0T, has a few more techie than other models do, adaptive air suspension, which you customize the drive feel and suspension even while the car is in

The main screen

The main event inside the A8 L 3.0T is the 8-inch matte-finish that appears when you on the ignition. What I like this “not always screen is that you can stow it (a button on the dash lets you put it in its compartment). This feature is convenient if you the screen too distracting, or if you share the car someone who isn’t quite so to use in-vehicle technology.

This LCD is where you’ll find all of infotainment options, including navigation, vehicle controls, phone-integration settings and information, and Connect. Below the screen, find an analog clock, for turning various safety on and off, and a multimedia compartment houses a single slot-loading DVD two SD Card slots, and a SIM card A six-disc CD/DVD changer is in the glove box.

The A8’s features display on the main screen.

The display is not a touchscreen. you control it primarily by using MMI system, which is located at the of the head unit, near the

These controls look a confusing at first, but they’re and easy to use. I especially the placement: Because the MMI controls are next to the gearshift, you can rest arm along the console and reach all the buttons and dials—no need to lift your hand and across the head unit to tap a or surrounding buttons. The system have a number of buttons (I 15, not including the selection dial or the but because everything is grouped you can learn your way around quickly.

The MMI controls are mounted at the base of the screen, just in front of the

Not enough buttons?

The main I have with the MMI controls is navigating to the screen you’re for can sometimes take a while. The MMI consist of a selection dial by four soft-function buttons buttons change, depending on the in the four corners of the screen), six buttons (Nav, Menu, Info, Back, and Car), controls (including a volume and a touchpad.

To make selections on the typically you turn the selection and then press it to indicate a You may have to go through several before you find what you each time dialing the selections and pressing to make choice.

The touchpad is interesting. of the time it acts as a touch-sensitive screen, with six numbers you can tap to go to your preset stations. when there’s an opportunity to text (for example, if entering an address), it becomes a touchpad.

It’s very good at letters, and it presents a convenient way to an address, provided you have all the in the world (you have to between each letter to that the system has recognized If you need to enter an address you should use the car’s voice-recognition instead.

Speaking of which, voice-recognition system is very It isn’t quite up to Siri-level, and it recognize most natural-language but it is fast. Unlike other which require that you a second before you say a command then require that you again while the system that command), Audi’s is almost immediate. It’s programmed to recognize some speech, such as “oh” for

The A8 comes with Audi which pulls certain of content from the Web.

and navigation

The A8 has its own 3G data connection, you can turn into a Wi-Fi for connecting Wi-Fi enabled inside the car. The screen for streaming-video and DVD playback, though not the vehicle is in motion. The car doesn’t to be in park, though—if you’re in traffic, you can watch a DVD, but the will go blank every you start moving.

The A8 has built-in featuring 3D maps and a four-year to SiriusXM traffic reports. You can addresses, go by points of interest, or online destinations using search for route guidance. I like how easy it is to enter using either the selection to choose letters, the touchpad to letters, or Audi’s voice-recognition to say the full address.

Audi A8

The A8 also comes with Connect, which is Audi’s information platform. Audi is like an especially watered-down of the Internet—think mobile phone circa 1991. With Connect, you can get traffic reports, and weather information, though is in headline/snippet format.

Audi doesn’t strike me as something people will use, it might be useful or interesting if you to be bored and stuck in traffic.

The real issue I had with the car was its connection. You’re supposed to be to connect your phone via to the A8, so that you can make calls the car’s speaker system, but I get the car to recognize any of my phones—and I tried models (a Samsung Galaxy 2, a Samsung Gusto 2 feature and an iPhone 4).

The good news is the process of connecting your to the car seems pretty straightforward, and you can do it while the car is in motion. I just I could have gotten it to

Other screens and features

The A8’s other screen is an large instrument-cluster display. between the tachometer and the speedometer, the Nvidia-powered instrument display more like the Tesla S’s all-digital instrument cluster. than the small, 2- or 3-inch displays we’ve gotten to in cars.

You control the A8’s display with buttons and a on the left side of the steering

The instrument display is customizable can also dim it completely, if you find it too and it can show lots of different For example, it can show “onboard statistics, such as fuel and average speed, as well as a speedometer, lane assistance, settings, and phone settings. If using the A8’s navigation the instrument display also turn-by-turn directions.

The bottom of the shows the temperature, time, trip meter, and current-gear constantly.

The A8 comes packed safety features, including assistance (which issues an if you drift outside your rain-detecting windshield wipers, and a advanced parking aid system. The aid system uses a backup to show you what’s behind and sensors around the front and of the car beep increasingly faster as you something you don’t want to In my tests, the parking sensors a little too cautious: Even the sensors were beeping so that it basically sounded one long beep, I was still than 6 inches away the wall.

You can turn off any of these safety including the lane assist, aid, and blind-spot monitoring. You can stow the screen, put up the rear blind, and turn on the hazard

Bottom line

With the A8, has done an admirable job of designing features into a plush Before you turn the car on, the interior like something that appeal to an older demographic, with wooden paneling, touches, minimal dashboard and an analog clock. But when you the engine, it’s an entirely story.

The screen emerges the dashboard and the instrument cluster up, and the A8 looks as high-tech as any of the other we’ve reviewed.

The A8‘s tech is surprisingly intuitive and to use, even if you’ve played with a connected before.

Despite the fact many of the menus are pretty you need go only to the first or level to reach the main of the car’s infotainment offerings. And voice-recognition technology works enough to allow you to circumvent the on-screen menus altogether by your commands.

Audi A8
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