Long before Tegra scored big smartphone and tablet design wins, it was pitched to car-makers as an innovative "visual computing module" (VCM) platform, which gives motorists centralized access to nearly every comfort, safety, and convenience system in the car, and web-based service connectivity.
Audi announced that by the end of the year, it will have deployed its new VCM (at least as a premium option) on its cars sold world-wide. In addition to car controls, the VCM used by Audi, which it calls the MIB module, features cellular- and WLAN-access (so you can tether internet from your smartphone), giving you access to several Google services, including Street View and Google Earth.
"The start of production of the Tegra-based MIB infotainment system was a major milestone for Audi," said Mathias Halliger, head of architecture, MMI system at Audi. "The new modular approach allows us an independent evolution of automotive-cycle and consumer-electronics-cycle multimedia systems so that we can implement the latest and greatest innovations that allow the best possible customer experience with infotainment in the vehicle."
"NVIDIA's modular VCM approach lets companies like Audi quickly move from a Tegra 2 processor, to a Tegra 3 and beyond," said Taner Ozcelik, general manager of automotive, NVIDIA. "Never before has an automaker been able to deliver a new generation of consumer electronics technology within such a short time."
Currently, Audi's MIB module is shipping on A3 models sold in the EU, which could spread to other markets tied to the EMEA region, with US and Canada adopting it by 2014.