What’s next for in-car entertainment? Audi believes it knows

Audi prototype CES

When they merge into the mainstream, autonomous cars will need to offer ways to keep the passenger formerly in charge of driving entertained. An in-flight entertainment-like interface doesn’t sound very appealing, so Audi has a much better idea. It wants to turn the cabin into a full-fledged entertainment space, and it will showcase its vision by unveiling two separate technologies at the 2019 Consumer Electronics Show (CES).

Called Audi immersive in-car entertainment, the on-the-go movie theater wouldn’t have been possible a decade ago. It leverages the increasingly high level of connectivity in both cars and mobile devices to let the occupants watch their favorite movie or stream content from the internet. At CES, the technology will be packed into one of the brand’s luxury sedans.

How? We don’t know yet. We’ll need to wait until CES opens its doors to find out, but we’re expecting big (and cool) things. Audi calls this technology the next-generation drive-in movie theater; we hope it involves a modern version of the drive-in movie snack tray popular in the 1950s. It’s interesting to note that, because the car needs to be stopped for the feature to work, the immersive in-car entertainment doesn’t depend on future leaps in driverless car technology. It may be closer to production than we think.

Users enjoy the second part of Audi’s novel entertainment space while the car is moving. Again, details are few and far between because the firm wants to retain an element of surprise, but the brand refers to it as a new entertainment format that turns the journey into the destination.

This technology likely ties into the 25th-hour project that Audi has been working on for over a year. If autonomy in cars gives drivers more free time, what is the best way to spend it? The 25th-hour project aims to define the premium mobility of the future, and we speculate that what we’ll see in CES will give us at least part of the definition.

Audi will release additional details about the technologies it is bringing to CES in the coming weeks, and we’ll see them in person when the show opens its doors on January 8.


Sony reshuffles its mobile division, gears up for comeback at MWC

Sony Mobile had a tough 2018, but it's looking to turn its mobile fortunes around in 2019. We sat down with VP of Marketing, Don Mesa, at CES 2019 to find out what the company has in store for us in the year ahead.

Unleash your inner artist with the best drawing apps for the iPad Pro

The best drawing apps for the iPad Pro turn Apple's robust tablet into a canvas worthy of a true artist. Here are 20 of our current favorites, whether you're looking to keep things simple or take your art to the next level.

Self-driving, electric, and connected, the cars of CES 2019 hint at the future

Car companies remained surprisingly quiet during CES 2018. But they spoke up in 2019. From electric hatchbacks you can buy in 2019 to super-futuristic mood-detecting technology, here are the major announcements we covered during the event.
Product Review

Lenovo’s Smart Clock with Google Assistant may be the perfect bedside companion

Move over Amazon Echo Spot: Lenovo’s Smart Clock With Google Assistant is coming for you. At just $79, the Smart Clock turns off the camera and turns up the cuteness factor for an enhanced alarm clock experience.

Peloton’s tech lets truckers play follow the leader to boost fuel economy

Peloton Technology can help semi trucks save fuel by running close together on the highway. Using short-range wireless communications, the trucks get a kind of super cruise control.

With 341 horsepower, the WRX STI S209 is the most powerful Subaru ever

The Subaru WRX STI S209 is the latest in a series of special editions that have never been sold in the United States before. The 341-horsepower pocket rocket debuts at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show.

China’s GAC Motor cruises into Detroit with all-electric Entranze concept

Chinese automaker GAC Motor brought its all-electric Entranze concept to the 2019 Detroit Auto Show. This is the third straight year that GAC has appeared in Detroit, and the company has established a design center in California.

2020 Ford Explorer branches out with sporty ST, efficiency-focused hybrid models

The 2020 Ford Explorer gets two variants never before seen on Ford's stalwart family hauler. The ST focuses on performance, while the hybrid aims for decent gas mileage. Both models will debut at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show.

Some of Volkswagen’s electric models will wear a ‘Made in the USA’ label

Confirming earlier rumors, Volkswagen has announced it will build electric cars in its Chattanooga, Tennessee, factory. The facility currently produces the Passat and the Atlas. Production will start in 2023, Digital Trends can reveal.

Infiniti previews its leap into one of the hottest industry segments

Infiniti will unveil the QX Inspiration concept at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show. The design study is an electric crossover shaped by Infiniti's newest design language that may point to a future production model.

Hyundai’s Veloster N hot hatchback will prove its mettle on the track

The Hyundai Veloster N will go racing to prove the credibility of Hyundai's new N performance division. Unveiled at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show, the Veloster N race car will compete in a class with other small cars.

Nissan IMs concept teases a future long-range, autonomous electric car

Debuting at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show, the Nissan IMs is an electric car with a 380-mile range, autonomous-driving capability, and a backseat designed for being chauffeured. Too bad it's just a concept car.

The 2020 Lexus RC F goes on a diet to run faster and hit harder

The Lexus RC F has been one of the heavier cars in its competitive set since its introduction. The Japanese firm's engineers set out to shed weight as they gave the model a mid-cycle update.

Lexus LC convertible concept teases a new open-air flagship

Debuting at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show, the Lexus LC convertible concept adds open-air motoring to the sleek LC's resume. But Lexus won't commit to a production version of the car just yet.