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Audi A8 wins award for Google Earth integration

Audi's new navigation system for the 2011 A8 integrates Google Earth.

Audi A8 navigation system
Audi's new navigation system uses Google Earth to show rich maps and detailed information on destinations. Audi

As if handwriting recognition and audio by Bang & Olufsen weren't enough to make us drool over the upcoming 2011 Audi A8, the company showed off Google Earth integration with the navigation system. Previewed at this year's CES, the completed system won the award for Best Embedded Telematics Navigation Product at the 2010 Telematics conference in Detroit.

Taking advantage of the NVidia graphics processor in the A8's navigation system, along with the car's 3G data connection, drivers can see their destinations and surroundings in rich topographical clarity. Detailed information on specific destinations includes photographs.

Audi has also introduced fuzzy search for finding points of interest, something long missing from navigation systems. Instead of typing a specific name for a business, the A8 uses Google Local Search to find businesses and other locations based on general search terms.

The 2011 Audi A8 goes on sale in the U.S. by the end of the year, but the Google Earth navigation system won't be available until early 2011.