updated 09:10 am EST, Thu December 17, 2009
Audi car to get Google 3D map data, search
Google today revealed that the Audi A8 will be the first regular production car whose GPS system will use Google Earth for data. The implementation will give the luxury sedan Google's 3D terrain data and satellite imagery to provide a more realistic view of driving directions when requested. Importantly, it will also bring some of Google's search features: among the extras will be the ability to push a destination or a business entry to the A8's GPS unit and have directions ready.
Layers like Panoramio images and Wikipedia data will be similarly accessible from the car, and Google Local Search should also work from the car. All of the techniques use an active 3G connection to download data, though it's not evident which company provides access. It's likely that the native provider will vary but that they will all support UMTS or HSPA to allow for roaming between countries outside of North America.
Plans for other cars to use Google Earth aren't mentioned, but Honda and Volkswagen have previously tested the service themselves.