Google is taking mobile very seriously, as in they are partnering with Audi to bring Google services including Google Earth to the A8. This marks the continuation of Google’s attempts to bring their services into automobiles and does it at a new level. According to Google’s Lat Long blog:
With their newly unveiled Audi A8, Audi is the first car manufacturer to bring Google Earth directly into the vehicle and to combine that with a set of useful Google services. We’ve worked closely with them to create a compelling in-car experience integrated with the Audi navigation system. You’ll be able to enjoy 3D satellite imagery, terrain information and a wealth of additional geo information relevant to your current location: layers like Wikipedia to learn more about your surroundings or Panoramio images to get another view.
Wow, that is pretty neat. Of course, some folks are going to have concerns about just how interactive this is especially when the area of greatest consideration while in a car has not changed since the first one rolled off the assembly line: pay attention and stay safely on the road. Here’s a picture of the system in the car.
Another nice feature is the tie in with the desktop that has been developed which will roll up local search and Google Maps in the services offered with the A8.
You can send business listings directly from Google Maps to your car: search for an address at your desk, send it to the car, and by the time you go to the parking lot your car will know where to go. While in the car, you can use Google Local Search in the same rich quality as at your desk. Imagine you get hungry on the way or want to find a cinema – simply perform a live Google search on your car navigation system and immediately get up-to-date, rich and relevant results.
I’m not sure how that live search is going to be preformed (hopefully at a red light or stop sign but that’s not likely) so it sounds real cool but would be even better to see in person. Of course, seeing it ‘in person’ comes with an MSRP for the A8 of $74,550-$78,400. Unfortunately, I was not compensated with my own A8 for this post (c’mon, Andy, what gives?). I just felt you needed to know that so I won’t get in trouble with the government.
Despite that, here’s to driving informed!