Audi builds Qualcomm wireless, Google Earth into new A8 car

VentureBeat got a wave of announcements from the Barcelona Mobile World Congress this morning. Our mobile expert Matthäus Krzykowski is onsite and can be reached on Twitter at @matthausk.

Audi announced at Barcelona that they’ll offer an in-car computer system called Mobile Media Interface Plus on selected A8 models this year. They’ve confused conference attendees a bit by demonstrating MMI Plus at the show in a cheaper, more mass-market A5 car on the show floor. But we’ve confirmed with Audi that only A8 models will have MMI Plus this year. A5’s are already available with the non-Plus MMI, reviewed by CNet last year.
MMI Plus is built around a 3G wireless connection based on a Qualcomm UMTS chipset. The network connection lets MMI Plus-equipped drivers make voice calls and use the data network at the same time.

Audi has integrated Google Earth into the MMI Plus navigation system. “When these images are combined with a detailed street atlas and other online or offline content in real-time,” a statement from Audi says, “the MMI Plus navigation system can provide route planning, points-of-interest and real-time traffic updates.”

[Photo: CNet]