LAS VEGAS -- To emcee its keynote address, Audi enlisted Kunal Nayyar, the actor who plays Raj Koothrappali on CBS' "The Big Bang Theory." Nayyar seemed conversant with Audi's technology, and was able to handle the segue between segments of the keynote well.
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As a reference to the past, Audi rolled out this Horch 18/50 as an early example of Piloted Driving. With this car, Piloted Driving meant having a chauffeur. Horch was one of the early companies that made up Audi.
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The primary speaker for the keynote address was Rupert Stadler, current CEO of Audi. He presented the company's embrace of technology.
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This A7 drove itself out onto the stage as a demonstration of Audi's Piloted Driving initiative. CNET had a chance to ride along in this very same car during a Piloted Driving demonstration on a Las Vegas freeway.
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Nayyar held up the processor board which makes Piloted Driving possible. Audi has been showing this board as a comparison to the trunk-full of computer equipment used to drive last year's autonomous vehicle demonstrator.
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Taking the stage during the keynote, next to this Audi S3 sedan, were AT&T CEO Ralph de la Vega and Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang, two very important partners for Audi's high-tech efforts.
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Audi gave a sneak peek of the LCD instrument cluster in its upcoming TT model update. Not only is this a reveal of the new TT, but also suggests future innovations in other Audi models. Here, the instrument panel is dominated by navigation, with virtual gauges pushed off to the corners.
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The TT apparently will use an interface controller that is a further refinement of that found in the new A3. The top of the dial is a touch pad.
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Here's another look at the capabilities of the TT's LCD instrument cluster.
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To introduce Audi's experimental laser high-beam headlight technology, these light-clad dancers did a performance.
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The dancers were very impressive, turning their light suits on and off to create the illusion of extremely fast movement.
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Audi's head of technical development, Ulrich Hackenberg, Ph.D., came out to introduce the Quattro Laserlight concept.
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This concept uses lasers for its high-beam headlights, which throw light twice as far as LED headlights. Hackenberg said these headlights would throw light the distance of five football fields.
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The interior of the Quattro Laserlight concept was nicely finished, and included innovations such as putting the engine start button on the steering wheel.
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