Couple of years ago, we witnessed a next-gen automotive UI which was running on NVIDIA’s GeForce 8400SE. In our talks with engineers from Futuremark , we were told it was a concept design for Audi, and that they believe they have a good shot at powering the next generation of infotainment system in Audi Q5 and Q7.

A lot has happened since then – NVIDIA debuted Tegra 2 for automotive and entered in a big way, scoring design wins with Volkswagen Audi Group, BMW Group, Tesla Motors and Magneti Marelli, to name the few. The trial run with Audi proved successful and now the Kanzi-shaped interface and associating hardware is showing up in Lamborghinis on the high end and more importantly, with Volkswagens, Seats and Skodas on the low end.

Volkswagen Golf, or Rabbit (for the US market) utilizes NVIDIA Tegra 2 for infotainment system
Volkswagen Golf, or Rabbit (for the US market) utilizes NVIDIA Tegra 2 for its infotainment system

Volkswagen just unveiled the seventh generation of its Golf, world’s third best-selling car (after Toyota Corolla and the VW Beetle). As expected, the infotainment system is taken over from Audi (with modifications) using RightWare’s Kanzi UI. The reason for this success is has two effects – the car companies see the need for better performing infotainment systems, as well as the fact that mass-produced hardware guarantees availability and larger group of developers who can take advantage of the performance offered.

Volkswagen Audi Group currently ships NVIDIA Tegra in Lamborghini Aventador, Audi Q5, Q7, A8, A7, A6, A3, Volkswagen Golf and Skoda Octavia.

Given Volkswagen’s aspirations to become world’s largest transportation maker with all of its associated brands (Audi, Bentley, Bugatti, Ducati, Lamborghini, MAN, Porsche, Scania Seat, Skoda, Volkswagen), the potential that NVIDIA has is quite high – should the conglomerate continue to adopt T20E-based parts across its lineup, NVIDIA could reach almost 10 million in unit sales counting VAG alone. Realistic number for 2013 is much lower, though – as we expect to see VAG shipping around one million cars equipped with the NVIDIA/RightWare combination.