Things you might not know about Multi Media Interface (MMI) system

Updated Jun 19, 2019 | Same topic: Technical Car Terms to Know

What is MMI? If you have an Audi, will you be able to use MMI? All the questions about MMI and its definition, functions will be addressed right here, on

Audi has been famous for its modern and trendy products. However, not everyone knows about MMI Touch, a term relating to the high-tech infotainment system on Audi. If you are planning to have an Audi, or simply want to know more about this term, let's guide you to a touchpad or a tablet called the MMI Touch.

1. What is the MMI Touch?

Audi has stepped up its game when it comes to modern technology. It has set a gold standard for incorporating the latest technology in a car with its MMI Touch.

Audi’s Multi Media Interface or MMI system is an in-car user interface system was launched last 2001 at the Frankfurt Motor Show on the Audi Avantissimo concept car. Audi, being known to maximize their car quality and edge with its information and entertainment system surely know their advantage with this.

Audi MMI is a common term used for Audi technology associated with its infotainment system. At its very core, the MMI is the user interface and the controller as well. It is composed of dials and displays but now, aside from these comes touchpads, buttons, touch-enabled dials, voice and steering wheel controls all incorporated within the system.

Audi MMI

Audi MMI is a common term used for Audi technology associated with its infotainment system

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2. How does the MMI Touch work?

If you know how to operate a smartphone, then you will surely be able to manage Audi’s MMI Touch. Similar to tablets, the input comes from whatever is provided by the user. For example, to enter a destination, the driver writes the address with their fingers on the touch-sensitive control panel or the MMI Touch.

This input methodology works subconsciously and would require no training or familiarization. The indicator rests naturally on the armrest on the on selector level of the eight-speed Tiptronic. Audi designed it, so the driver’s attention will never stray from the road, but his fingers can enter this information manually.

The system recognizes the input and interprets it by briefly ‘reading’ it back letter per letter or number. If wrong, a simple right to left swiping motion would delete it. In comparison to voice control, inputting data to the MMI Touch is possible even if there is a conversation surrounding the car or also if background music or audio is being played.

Man touching the infotainment system

The system recognizes the input and interprets it by briefly ‘reading’ it back letter per letter or number

>>> Read more: Study in UK says in-car technologies causing reliability problems

The technology of MMI Touch is created on a network of millions of character samples from all over the world. It is not just limited to English but can recognize Chinese, Korean, Japanese, and Cyrillic characters. It is designed to be used internationally.

The touchpad is composed of the sensor module and a computer positioned below. A processor that analyzes the symbols forwards the information to the MMI system. This happens in a fraction of a nanosecond. The fast and reliable character recognition system is based on neural networks.

The sensor module is made of a touch-sensitive film with white high-performance LEDs to light it from below. There is a special coating incorporated to make sure that it can withstand 600,000 inputs without damaging its extremely high-quality appearance.

Man operating the MMI

The MMI is designed to be used internationally.

3. Audi Models with MMI Touch

It’s not just about the horsepower but the overall car quality that now comes into play. The MMI Touch comes in the standard models like A3, A4, A6, A7, A8, Q7, and Q8.

Cars with the MMI Touch is compatible with the Android Auto and the Apple CarPlay. The MMI Touch’s home screen or menu has eight color-coded square tiles, an information bar at the top, as well as five icons vertically arranged for quick access for functions commonly launched or triggered like navigation.

Similar to the typical tablet, you can also drag and drop and edit the arrangement of the icons to your preference.

The MMI Touch comes in Audi A3

The MMI Touch comes in the standard models like A3

A short, discreet clicking sound can be heard to confirm such changes enough to be heard but not too distracting or alarming for any of the passengers inside the vehicle. Most of the menus are light also. An example would be changing the driving mode with the touch screen will only require three taps.

One to access the ‘car’ menu, the second tap to access the ‘Audi Drive Select’ and the third tap to set the desired driving method.

>>> Also check: Advantages of touchscreen car console & 8 tips to choose the best one.

4. Comparing Audi’s MMI Touch to other infotainment systems

When it comes to competition, Audi’s MMI Touch is a good competition for Mercedes-Benz’s COMAND and BMW’s iDrive. Each to its own with its advantages and opportunities. Here is a quick breakdown of what to expect from these three leading manufacturers:


BMW’s iDrive is the fastest of the three when tested on who is the quickest to load a satellite navigation route. The Mercedes came next and last if the Audi’s MMI. Note though that Audi was able to plot three different routes all at once compared to the other two.

Audi MMI

Audi was able to plot three different routes all at once compared to the other two

User Interface

BMW’s infotainment system is all available on the iDrive’s home page displayed as icons arranged in a tiled format similar to most smartphones today. Audi’s MMI Touch is relatively more straightforward with its circular home screen reflecting the control wheel. 

The Mercedes’ display meanwhile is a little busier with horizontal menu bars on the top and bottom of the screen and with little stability between their functions.


BMW’s newest iDrive Professional system has an optional WiFi hotspot feature that allows up to 8 mobile devices to tether in the connection. Audi’s MMI has a similar feature allowing data connection and a WiFi hotspot. Meanwhile, the Mercedes also has a WiFI hotspot but with a built-in SIM card.

This means that you need to tether the car to your mobile phone so the data signal can be broadcasted.

BMW’s iDrive

BMW’s iDrive Professional system has an optional WiFi hotspot that allows 8 mobile devices to tether in the connection

In a nutshell, the MMI Touch is intuitive and user-friendly. The response time is fast with remarkable graphics resolution packed in an elegant and seamless design.

Like any tablet, it is prone to dust and fingerprints. It is also not available on other basic Audi cars. Incorporating an infotainment system that is just more than for entertainment is really a bold move for Audi, and they have set the benchmark of what to expect for consumers.

Most car models like Mercedes-Benz and BMW is already following suit for this trend, but Audi has already made its mark.

Everyone is excited about the next innovation of Audi’s MMI. It will surely bring about a more enhanced and unforgettable experience.

 >>> Visit to know more technical car terms.

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Hanna Sanchez

Hanna Sanchez


Hanna is one of the most competitive swimmers in the country during her day. It was not long before she discovered her passion for the automotive industry as well. Nowadays, she balances her passion through writing as well as coaching.

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