10 May New Audi Models Can Communicate With Traffic Lights
Waiting for red lights, not knowing how long it will take for them to turn green is a bugbear for all drivers. Wouldn’t it be amazing if your car could tell you how long until the light turns green? Well, very soon, your new Audi will be able to do so if you live in ten select cities.
Traffic Light Information is part of Audi’s connect PRIME offering and is available on select 2017 and 2018 models. The technology allows your Audi to communicate with traffic lights in ten cities across the country, and display the amount of time before the light turns green. When a car approaches a junction, real-time information is received through the car’s onboard 4G LTE connection. Time to green is displayed in the instrument cluster, allowing the driver to relax and take their foot off the pedals.
The service was first launched in Las Vegas in 2016 in collaboration with Traffic Technology Services (TTS). Today, ten cities and more than 2,250 intersections are connected with the service. The cities include Dallas, Houston, Palo Alto, Arcadia, Portland, Denver, Phoenix, Kansas City, and Washington D.C.
Pom Malhotra, Director of Connected Vehicles and Data at Audi of America says that it is all about delivering a more relaxed, comfortable form of driving. “Over the years, the automotive industry has made a lot of strides in connectivity. If you see the signal is not going to turn green for 60 seconds, that might motivate you to take your foot off the gas, relax a bit, listen to a song on the radio. In general, what we observe is giving this type of information to the driver creates the same kind of positive behavior changes that you would see by giving that type of information to a pedestrian in a crosswalk.”
But it’s a two-way street. Because all of the data that Audi collects at traffic lights is given back to the city. According to Malhotra, “This is the kind of data that the city would have to spend a lot of money researching on at specific intersections. Now they can get this at all intersections for extended periods of time, study these traffic patterns and decide if they need to re-time the signals or change any other aspects of the city’s infrastructure from a traffic light standpoint.”
The future looks very bright for Audi with this technology. As well as expanding the service to even more cities, future iterations of the service could integrate with the car’s start/stop functionality, provide optimized navigation routes based on green lights, and provide other predictive services.
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