On one of my business trips to Germany, I attended one of the largest global trade shows: Embedded World. It was held in Nuremberg, Germany. High tech companies from around the world were showing off their latest innovations. At this year show, Intelligent and Connected Car technologies seemed to be what everyone was into. Fully configurable LCD/LED intelligent dashboards, autonomous driving technologies, passive safety features such as lane departure, thermal imaging night vision, and adaptive cruise control, car-to-car and car-to-traffic infrastructure communication, embedded system for hybrid and flexible fuel, and electric vehicle technologies were just a few samples of technologies displayed in several football-field size exhibition halls.
Success in the auto industry is no longer determined by only the horsepower of an engine, or how many cup holders it has. Buyers today ask different questions. How many miles to the gallon? Does it have an eco-friendly mode? Is it electric? Does it have Bluetooth? Can I stream Internet radio? How does the GPS work with traffic conditions? Are the headlights LED? In other words, technology, and specifically software is driving buying habits of car shoppers.
Last Summer, 80 drivers got together at Mandarin Hotel Washington DC to take part in Audi TDI Efficiency Drive Challenge. Among the drivers were journalists, scientists, startup entrepreneurs, bloggers, and policy makers. The 80 drivers were split into four groups and our arrival and departure were staggered.
Each group arrived the night before the driving day for technical presentation and panel discussion followed by dinner. The next morning, each group was tasked to drive three cars in three segments: Q5 TDI, A6 TDI, and A7 TDI on predetermined routes. Two drivers in each car and we took turned at midpoint of each segment. Our driving stats were collected by a special add-on device installed on each car. At the end of each driving day, the winning team with the highest miles per gallon of the day was announced at dinner.
TDI History at a Glance
Audi brought the very first TDI into production 1989. It was based on its proven 2.5L five cylinder design. TDI. Then in 2006, Audi introduced a slightly bigger 3.0L V6 TDI. Not only the second TDI generation produced more power and boasted better fuel efficiency, it achieved Tier II / Bin 5 ULEV CARB through the use of a DeNOx catalytic converter and the aid of AdBlue after exhaust treatment.