CES 2011: Next generation MMI, Touch debuting on Audi A3

Filed under: CES, Technology, Audi

Audi Next Generation MMI

Click above to enlarge

Take a close look at the photo above. You’re looking at Audi’s next generation MMI system being demoed during this morning’s keynote at CES. The circuit board to the left is packing NVIDIA’s Tegra chipset – the same processor powering a range of tablets and netbooks – and to the right is Audi’s new scroll wheel, which has grown considerably. The reason for the added girth? Audi is incorporating the much-lauded MMI Touch interface directly into the scroll wheel. MMI Touch – which originally debuted on the A8 and is making its way to the A7 and all-new A6 – will continue to move down through the ranks of Audi’s line-up and will debut on the next generation A3, likely to arrive within the next two years.

The revised MMI Touch will continue to include handwriting recognition, but will also handle scrolling and possibly gestures for panning, zooming and other functions. If you’ve used an iPhone, iPad or MacBook touchpad, you’ll be right at home.

We also got a sneak preview of the Tegra’s performance as it seamlessly rendered Google Earth, a new circular navigation menu and full 3D graphics. Audi claims to have over 100 engineers and user interface experts working on its infotainment software, and from what we’ve seen today, we believe them.

CES 2011: Next generation MMI, Touch debuting on Audi A3 originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 06 Jan 2011 19:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Ford introduces airbags with enhanced crash protection, debuting on 2012 Focus [w/video]

Filed under: Safety, Technology, Ford

Ford's next-gen airbag system

Ford’s next-generation airbag technology – Click above for high-res image gallery

Ford has given us a sneak peek at its production-ready 2012 Focus, and while our lips may be sealed about its specs and our impressions, we can now give you the lowdown on the Blue Oval’s new airbag technologies that will debut in its forthcoming C-segment stunner.

For the driver, the new steering wheel airbag uses a tether system that pulls in the lower section of the bag back toward the dashboard. This creates a small pocket that Ford engineers say will soften the blow of the airbag to the driver’s chest and ribs, reducing the threat of bodily injury in a frontal crash.

The side airbags also work to prevent injuries to the driver and front passenger by adding shoulder vents that stay open during inflation, reducing pressure for smaller occupants. Taller folks will block these vents with their shoulders, and this added pressure can actually prove to be helpful.

Along with the shoulder vents, Ford has used an adaptive venting system in its passenger-side front airbag, which diverts some of the inflation gas outside of the bags. This better protects passengers by enhancing head and neck protection by matching inflation force with the size of the occupant, which is monitored by the weight sensors already built into the seats.

As you’d expect, these safety features won’t just be limited to the 2012 Focus. Ford says that this technology will quickly spread to the rest of its model range within the next few years. To see exactly how these systems work, follow the jump to watch an instructional animated video, as well as actual crash test footage. Ford’s press release is available for your reading pleasure, as well.

Gallery: Ford’s Next-Generation Airbag Technology

[Source: Ford]

Continue reading Ford introduces airbags with enhanced crash protection, debuting on 2012 Focus [w/video]

Ford introduces airbags with enhanced crash protection, debuting on 2012 Focus [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 16 Sep 2010 00:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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