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Audi Smart Display is an Android tablet for the road

Audi tablet to bridge gap between home and in-car entertainment.

Audi is bringing yet more mobile technology to its cars, the latest of which is a tablet called Smart Display. The concept device, unveiled at CES 2014, connects to a car using WiFi.

Audi’s Smart Display will make use of the LTE (4G) connectivity built into its newer models such as the Audi A3 Saloon to provide internet access, allowing the passenger to stream music, browse YouTube videos and look up Wikipedia.

Passengers can also check out the speed the driver is going, current RPM of the engine (in case such information floats your boat), as well as read emails and engage in a spot of social networking on Twitter, Facebook and the rest.

Perhaps most useful, however, is access to the Google Play app store. With so many apps at your fingertips, you’ll be abel to stream music via Spotify, check traffic flow with Waze and plan your journey using one of the many satnav apps available.

Audi has decided to go one better than the Apple iPad and the multitude of Android tablets on the market by making its Smart Display crash resistant and resilient to extreme cold temperatures. So if you ever become stranded in the snow, at least Angry Birds will still run like a dream. Sadly this means the tablet is reportedly a bit on the weighty side.

A 10.2-inch 1080p display provides ample viewing space for content, while an Nvidia Tegra T40 processor adds the processing grunt necessary to make the Android interface move along smoothly.

The Audi tablet coincides with Google’s Open Automotive Alliance ─ OAA for short. The new initiative, which was launched at CES 2014, is designed to make bringing the Android mobile operating system into cars easier than before. Current partners besides Audi include General Motors, Honda, Hyundai and Nvidia.

We’re not quite sure the benefits of Audi Smart Display. Audi Connect has much of the functionality (navigation, internet access) already covered and the driver can view his speed and revs using the dials. Access to Google Play is useful but surely you could just use your existing tablet anyway?

No word on the price of Smart Display, whether it will work with other wireless-equipped cars and if it will ever make it to production.

Audi used CES 2014 in Las Vegas to also spill the beans on a laser headlight-equipped Sport quattro laserlight concept at CES2014 that combines serious hybrid performance with extremely bright laser LED technology.

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