Results: Benchmarking Audi MMI
So much of what we do at Tom's Hardware centers on benchmark results. As such, we've developed a test suite that covers some of the tasks and processes that are important to a driver using his car's technology package. The tasks we measure include: boot-up time, time to connect to a paired phone, the time it takes to start music playback after booting the infotainment system, and lastly, how long it takes to actually add a phone to the system. We chose these measurements because they affect everyday use.
We perform the tests by recording video of each action and reviewing the footage in an editor to establish the exact point the system was turned on, and when the tasks are completed. The result is accurate; these aren't stop watch-timed tests. Our results from previous car reviews are included as well.
In order to test the A8L, we manually restarted the system using the key combination, forcing the system to cool-boot. Otherwise, it starts up on its own as the car is approached.
Audi's MMI touch boots fairly quickly at 15.5 seconds. That time is a little deceiving, though. The system uses a staggered start-up process that outputs a display signal and responds to button presses. However, the audio, navigation, and phone functions don't work until each module is loaded, which takes roughly twice as long. Compared to other infotainment systems we’ve tested, the A8L doesn't win any speed comparisons.
Music playback puts the MMI touch system at the back of the pack. Again, as the system boots, it registers button presses and lets you access certain capabilities. But achieving music playback still takes close to 30 seconds after booting cold. In a real-world environment, however, Audi's infotainment system starts booting as soon as you approach the car with its passive key. You don't really notice any delays playing music when you finally get into the driver's seat.
It takes Audi's MMI touch system almost one minute to connect to our test phone. We aren't particularly surprised though; this platform loads up a lot more technology than the touchscreen-based systems we've looked at in the past. Moreover, it's not driven by a particularly powerful SoC.
Calculating a route with the navigation system lands Audi's A8L in the middle of our line-up. It's still twice as fast as the Microsoft-based SYNC with MyFord Touch system.