Audi MMIThe new Audi TT will be the first model fitted with the firm’s revised MMI infotainment control system, dubbed MMI 2014.

An evolution of the current setup, MMI 2014 is based around two soft keys and a central rotary touch-sensitive controller, instead of the four keys of today’s system.

Audi says this complements a new and much flatter menu hierarchy introduced on the new TT, making it easier for users to go straight to the function they want.

All functionality offered by MMI will also be available via the steering wheel controls, too.

‘Evolving the quattro logic’

The new MMI system evolves the four-button logic that has been central to MMI for the past 10 years, says Audi.

With the new system, using the rotary controller switches between modes, with the left button opening up the selection menu (such as, switching between FM and AM), with the right button now calling up a contextual menu of more in-depth functionality.

Audi says this follows the ‘right click’ logic familiar to Microsoft PC users and is key to flattening the increasingly complex menu structure of today’s system.

The familiar four-shortcut menu buttons will still be include on the new MMI system though, via two rockers positioned above the central rotary wheel. This, says Audi, is to aid customer familiarity.

Simple on-board search

Perhaps the biggest advance of the new Audi MMI 2014 system is its expanded search functionality, which is combined with written letter recognition for the touch-sensitive rotary controller

The new MMI search offers a single-stop menu where, says Audi’s infotainment development chief Dr. Andrew Ebner, “you just type what you want to search for.

“If you are looking for a Shell filling station nearby, write ‘Shell’ with your finger on the rotary controller: the closest will appear in the navigation list – clicking on this will set the nav to take you straight there.”

Audi is particularly confident the new system marks a significant advance over the old setup because it cliniced over 400 people, said Dr. Ebner.

“The feedback we got from them was put into the development loop and acted upon.”