Skip to main content

Audi previews future interior concepts at CES 2016

Two years ago, Audi rocked CES with the “virtual cockpit” display that eventually went into production, starting with the recently redesigned TT. “Virtual cockpit” replaces conventional gauges and infotainment screens with a single digital display that does both. Now, is considering taking things a step further.

“We are developing our successful Audi virtual cockpit into the Audi virtual dashboard,” Ricky Hudi, the carmaker’s electronics-development chief, said in a statement, adding that in the future, “the entire system will get to know the customer and their habits and preferences, then proactively support them.”

Audi displayed an interior model at CES to demonstrate how all of those capabilities could be incorporated into future car dashboards. It consists of large AMOLED (active-matrix organic LED) displays with haptic feedback. Audi says they recognize touch gestures like the ones typically used to control mobile devices, and that smartphones and smartwatches themselves can be “seamlessly connected.” The whole system is backed by am upgraded version of the modular infotainment platform used in current Audi vehicles.

Expanding the “virtual-cockpit” concept beyond the gauge cluster could be a smart move for Audi, and not just because the conventional wisdom in the industry these days seems to be “more screens equals better.” The “virtual cockpit” helps streamline the flow of information to the driver and declutter interiors, but it’s also focused solely on the person behind the wheel. That may be acceptable in a sports car like the TT, but may not be ideal in other types of vehicles.

It’s also likely that some form of “virtual dashboard” will enter production soon. The e-tron quattro electric SUV concept that debuted at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show has an interior (pictured above) with a similar design, incorporating screens into both the gauge cluster and the center stack.

Also displayed at CES, the e-tron quattro previews an electric SUV Audi will put on sale in 2018. It features an all-wheel drive system incorporating three electric motors, and Audi hopes it will achieve around 300 miles of range per charge.

Editors' Recommendations

CES 2021 day one highlights: New TVs, Wi-Fi 6e, and lots of crazy concepts
LG OLED Lineup CES 2021


Looking for the latest CES 2021 news? We’re liveblogging all the latest CES 2021 announcements. Here's a quick recap of the biggest, most important developments we've seen thus far. Stay tuned to this page and be sure to smash that refresh button occasionally -- we'll update this page regularly as the day goes on.

Read more
BMW shows off the future of iDrive tech at CES 2021
bmw idrive next gen infotainment system ces 2021 screen

BMW iDrive was one of the first automotive infotainment systems, debuting in 2001 on the 7 Series luxury car. To celebrate iDrive's 20th anniversary, BMW previewed the next-generation system — set to debut in the iX electric car — at CES 2021.

While the automaker's presentation focused more on the past than the future, BMW did drop a few teasers and hints about the next-generation iDrive system. Teaser images show a massive screen stretching about halfway across a car's dashboard, indicating BMW doesn't plan to buck the big-screen trend in new cars. The new system also retains the rotary controller used on every iteration of iDrive, showing that BMW's introduction of gesture control and a voice assistant haven't killed off analog controls.

Read more
Samsung’s Digital Cockpit is a futuristic concept for self-driving car interiors
Samsung Digital Cockpit

Samsung wants to turn your next smart car’s cabin into a digital cockpit. At CES 2021, the South Korea tech giant is showcasing a concept tech that imagines equipping smart cars with both swiveling screens and 5G connectivity.

Simply called the Digital Cockpit, the new tech is Samsung’s attempt at securing a spot in the next generation of smart and largely driverless cars. The group of wide, high-resolution displays lets you perform all sorts of tasks you wouldn’t normally expect to accomplish from the cramped interior of your vehicle, like turning it into a mobile office, watching movies, and playing games on a panoramic 49-inch screen.

Read more