As innovative as it might be, there's a harsh reality behind the use of infotainment technology in modern vehicles, yet many automakers are oblivious as to how this might affect the motor industry in the future. Lo and behold, Audi's consistent efforts in the development of all things good in a car has led to presenting motorists with a Virtual Cockpit, but what does this actually mean for us?

"To put it simply, Audi's intention for the new Virtual Cockpit was simply to replace your normal analogue dials with a rather adaptive TFT screen", Michael Wyatt of Jays Motor Company. "It means that you're able to use it as you would the standard infotainment system, bringing anything from your favourite music playlists to sat-nav directions around a busy town – and all that's in-between." But now it's time to burst your bubble of excitement: Audi's Virtual Cockpit is NOT touchscreen, unfortunately. Actually, it relies on voice-control or steering-wheel-mounted controls in order for it to operate properly, and, thanks to the magical talent of the Volkswagen Group, you're likely to discover it across almost the entire Audi range.

Are They New?

Though Audi's Virtual Cockpit might be relatively new, and pretty cool, if we were to jump back to the mid-1980s for a minute or two, it'd become apparent that everyone considered the big, primary-coloured palettes on the dash as the most innovative technology of their time. My point is that automakers have been developing infotainment systems and motor technology for decades, so it's nothing particularly new – or at least, we all knew it'd happen at some point.

Why You Should Have One

Let's think beyond the superficial notion that they look rather slick and sleek up front on the dash: why should people have Audi's Virtual Cockpit? Apart from the fact that it's an adaptive instrument, one of those major technological steps that make you wonder how you'd coped without one before, almost every type of infotainment has become something out of the ordinary. It almost makes you question why people obsess over buying the latest, most expensive equipment for their cars, then before you know it, you're asking yourself how much you have in your savings to invest for yourself. More importantly though, the Virtual Cockpit presents information about what media you're listening to, who you're in-call with and even information about tyre temperature. With that said, all passengers really seem to care about these days is the standard of sat-nav featured on the dash.

Why Not a Normal Screen?

Audi has invented the Virtual Cockpit to offer an alternate positioning of the sat-nav screen in its motors – which by the way, is right below your eyeline – so that it feels much more natural and your eyes are on the road as much as they should be. So, sure, a normal screen offers you the bold colours and modern technological tools and instruments, but Audi's Virtual version represents the future of the motor industry, here and now.

Published by will Ent