Audi will soon start rolling out technology that allows its cars to ‘talk’ to traffic lights.
The American arm of the German manufacturer has announced that it will be integrating new ‘vehicle to infrastructure’ technology, known in the industry as ‘V2I’.
The system taps into local traffic management systems to know when lights will change. If a driver is at a red light, a display will count down to when the driver can go, but it can also warn that traffic lights ahead will turn red before being reached.
The idea is that if a driver knows the light will turn red they can back off the throttle, saving fuel and helping the environment. Audi also believes that by informing the driver of what’s happening it helps to relieve stress.
This is just the beginning of a bigger vision, though. Ultimately, Audi says it imagines a future in which cars and infrastructure have a two-way conversation.
At the moment, the cars can only receive information about traffic light phases. The end goal is for central traffic management systems to receive information from vehicles on the road to get a better understanding of where traffic is in real time.
This would improve traffic flow, it is claimed, as cars could be given green lights if no other vehicles need to pass through the junction, or streets with heavy traffic could be given longer green lights to help clear bottlenecks.
Selected 2017 Q7 and A4 models built after 1 June 2016 for the US market will be equipped with the Audi Traffic Light Information technology.
After completing his university studies in English and Creative Writing in Cardiff, Jack is now a full time motoring writer at Blackball Media. His love of cars stems from his childhood years when he began to live and breathe all-things automotive.