Audi decided to make Google Streetview available in its Audi connect telematics system, and the folks at the Telematics Update Awards rewarded them for it.
According to the press release from Audi, the awards offer organizations across the telematics industry a chance to show off their latest telematics products, services, and initiatives to a wider audience.
Audi of America Connected Vehicle Manager Anupam Malhotra said, “We are honored and thrilled to be recognized for the fourth year in a row. Most navigation systems advise a customer when they have arrived at their destination. Audi’s integration of Google Street View in the Audi MMI® Navigation plus goes above and beyond by providing a visual cue in the form of the picture of the final destination to make it easier to recognize the destination. It’s this kind of added detail that creates a seamless customer experience.”
Audi said the introduction of Google Streetview into its Audi connect telematics suite “significantly enhances the in-vehicle navigation experience by providing the driver’s view of a destination on the Navigation screen prior to arrival.”
I’d be inclined to agree with that assessment, though I’ve not had the chance to use the service yet. I do know when looking up directions ahead of a trip on Google Maps– you know, for those times I’m driving something that doesn’t have a swank infotainment screen in the dash capable of displaying a nav map– I sometimes take a look at the Streetview photos of the area around my destination in an attempt to partially familiarize myself with what the destination looks like as well as any street irregularities not picked up on the map overlay itself. You’d be surprised how many one-way streets and divided, controlled-access streets Google Maps misses, it turns out.
Audi’s release said the system is designed to search for a Google Street View image of an entered point-of-interest or address. In addition, the system also allows the driver to zoom into the navigation map to view a full 360 degree Google Street View image of the destination. The driver can also navigate within the image using the Audi MMI touch pad or Audi MMI controller knob. So it sounds like I might not be able to take a virtual tour around the city block, but I should at least be able to get a good 360-degree view of the street near my destination address. Pretty cool.
In addition to that honor, Audi received an honorable mention at the Telematics Update Awards for its inclusion of LTE compatibility in the car’s cellular network connectivity feature. This inclusion “supports data rates of up to 100 MBit/s downstream and considerably faster response times,” Audi said.