Audi shows A3 at CeBIT tech show

* Audi A3 showcases new technology * Connects with internet and other cars * New touchpad controller...

Audi shows A3 at CeBIT tech show

Audi will showcase its new A3 at the CeBIT technology show in Hanover, Germany next month.

The manufacturer will take a stand at the influential trade show which runs at the same time as the Geneva motor show to showcase a host of new technologies under its Audi Connect banner.

Audi Connect allows cars to interact with the internet, surrounding infrastructure and other vehicles. It means occupants can access news, traffic information and weather reports. Navigation is based on images from Google Earth and Google Street View. Audi traffic information provides traffic flow data on the navigation map and detects traffic jams, even while they are forming.

The technology also means the car can become a mobile wireless hotspot, enabling passengers to surf the internet with up to eight mobile devices.

The new Audi A3, which will be on display just after its official unveiling at the Geneva show 2012, is the first model to get the company's new modular infotainment system. The new platform will make it easier for Audi to introduce and update hardware and software in shorter development cycles.

One of the highlights in the Audi A3 alongside its Audi Connect compatibility is a touchpad that has been built into the rotary push-button controller as the primary input source. The touchpad is designed to make interaction more intuitive.

Audi will also showcase its new Urban Future Initiative. Five international concepts are being presented that deal with future urban challenges and trends surrounding the theme of megacities and mobility.

Pete Barden