The Audi e-tron comes standard with a fully digital control and display concept. It represents the next step in a systematic evolutionary process. It began in 2014 with the introduction of the Audi virtual cockpit in the TT. A brand new control concept followed last year in the fourth-generation Audi A8. With its two MMI touch response displays, it offers the same operating logic that customers are familiar with from their smartphones, complemented by haptic and acoustic feedback. The Audi e-tron opens this digital control window a bit farther with the virtual exterior mirrors.
World premiere in a volume-production automobile: virtual exterior mirrors
For the first time in a volume-production automobile, virtual exterior mirrors are available as an option in the Audi e-tron. They not only provide a new technology experience, but also many practical benefits in terms of comfort and safety. Integrated into the hexagonal end of their flat supports is a small camera, whose images are digitally processed and displayed on high-contrast, 1200 x 800-pixel OLED displays in the transition between the instrument panel and the door. They blend harmoniously into the driver’s area’s wraparound concept.
The 7-inch displays, whose brightness adjusts automatically, are equipped with proximity sensors. If the driver moves their finger toward the surface, symbols are activated with which the driver can move the image. A switching function allows the driver to also adjust the virtual passenger-side mirror.
Thanks to the sophisticated image processing, the displays provide a significantly better image than a conventional mirror in certain situations, such as in direct sunlight. The mirrors adjust automatically to three driving situations: highway, turning and parking. On the highway, the field of view image is reduced in scale so that the driver can better estimate speeds when driving fast – other vehicles then appear larger in the display. If the driver signals an intention to turn or change lanes by indicating, the indicator view extends the image detail on the relevant side. This reduces the blind spot. When maneuvering and parking, the displayed field of vision is expanded downward. The display visualizes the turn signal as a green contour on its outer frame and also displays notifications from the Audi side assist lane-change assistant and the exit warning.
Full HD resolution: Audi virtual cockpit
The digital display and operating concept in the Audi e-tron is rounded off by the standard Audi virtual cockpit, which can be operated from the multifunction steering wheel. Its display benefits from the very high resolution of 1,920 x 720 pixels – full HD – and new e-tron-specific graphics. The driver can choose between two display modes: In the classic view, the powermeter and speedometer are presented as large dials; in the infotainment mode, they appear smaller and the focus is on the navigation map. Customers who select the optional Audi virtual cockpit plus can call up an additional view that puts the powermeter right in the center. The head-up display complements the displays as an option. It projects important information directly onto the windshield – meaning the driver always has everything in view.
Attentive dialog partner and tactile feedback: operating concept
In common with all other Audi full-size models, the Audi e-tron features the MMI touch response operating system. Its two large, high-resolution displays – the upper one with a diagonal of 10.1 inches and the lower one 8.6 inches – take the place of almost all conventional switches and controls. Operation is swift and reliable: When the finger activates a function, it triggers a tactile and acoustic click by way of confirmation.
In the upper display, the driver controls the infotainment, telephony, navigation and special e-tron settings – where they can activate a charging timer or specify the type of recuperation, for example. In the lower one, the driver manages text input, comfort functions and the air conditioning with their wrist resting comfortably on the support with integrated gear selector switch. The menu structure is intuitively logical and flat like on a smartphone, including freely configurable favorites and start screens.
In addition to operation by the two touch displays, the driver can activate a host of functions using natural language voice control. Information on destinations and media is either available on board or is delivered from the cloud at LTE speed. The system understands freely worded commands. The ingenious dialog manager asks questions if necessary, allows corrections, offers choices and also defers to the speaker when interrupted.
The equipment, data and prices specified in this document refer to the model range offered in Germany. Subject to change without notice; errors and omissions excepted.