Many big-name brands have tried to take on Apple's iPod and failed, but now Audi has come up with its own device – but with a difference.
The Audi Mobile Device (let’s hope it gets a snappier name if and when it goes into production) was launched as part of Audi’s Metroproject concept car - previewing the new Audi A1 - at the Tokyo motor show this week.
The touch-screen mobile device is more akin to Apple’s soon-to-be-launched iPhone, with MP3 and video player, navigation, contact book and phone built in.
There are numerous clever twists, though: For starters, the mobile device also does the job of a key, allowing the car to open and start if it is close by.
You can programme the car's sound system and air-conditioning, too, all from the comfort of your home.
A camera inside the car will send images of the cabin to the user if the car is broken into. Then, if the car’ stolen, the owner will be kept up to date of the car’ current location.
Plus, when the mobile device is slotted into the centre console, the functions are controlled using Audi's MMI (multi-media interface).
A team of young engineers and designers at Audi developed this nifty bit of kit and, even though it may only be part of a concept car at the moment, we’d be very surprised if it wasn’t offered as an option on all new Audis in the future.
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