Google Earth Makes Leap To Automobiles

    December 17, 2009

The 2010 Audi A8 is a big, expensive car, starting at 4,409 pounds and $74,550.  And the 2011 models aren’t likely to be any lighter or cheaper.  But the 2011 models will offer something that no other car’s ever had: from-the-factory integration of Google Earth.

A post on the LatLong Blog announced late yesterday, "Audi is the first car manufacturer to bring Google Earth directly into the vehicle and to combine that with a set of useful Google services.  We’ve worked closely with them to create a compelling in-car experience integrated with the Audi navigation system.  You’ll be able to enjoy 3D satellite imagery, terrain information and a wealth of additional geo information relevant to your current location: layers like Wikipedia to learn more about your surroundings or Panoramio images to get another view."

The post then continued, "To help you figure out where you want to go and how to get there, we’ve also brought Google Maps and Local Search into the A8, and linking it to your desk.  You can send business listings directly from Google Maps to your car: search for an address at your desk, send it to the car, and by the time you go to the parking lot your car will know where to go.  While in the car, you can use Google Local Search in the same rich quality as at your desk."

Now, car guys may wonder if Audi couldn’t have used this project’s budget to squeeze a few more horsepower out of the A8’s engine.  More sane folks would probably just appreciate a lower price.  Still, this tech is sure to prove useful at times, if only to stave off boredom while stuck in traffic jams.

Look for the trickle-down effect to take place, too, eventually putting Google Earth within reach of more and more drivers.

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