Audi cars chat with traffic lights

Bavarian luxury automaker Audi has announced that select 2017 Q7 and A4 and A4 models releasing this autumn will talk to traffic lights.

This means that you, the driver, will see a countdown to signals before they turn green on the car’s HUD. More importantly, it will also warn you when it is impossible to cross a signal before it turns red factoring in the speed limit.

The car receives real-time signal information from the advanced traffic management system that monitors traffic lights. The link between vehicle and infrastructure is routed via an on-board LTE data connection and Traffic Technology Services servers.

Audi traffic lights
The link between vehicle and infrastructure is routed via LTE

“This feature represents Audi’s first step in vehicle-to-infrastructure [V2I] integration,” said Pom Malhotra, General Manager of Connected Vehicles at Audi. “In the future we could envision this technology integrated into vehicle navigation, start/stop functionality and it can even be used to help improve traffic flow in municipalities. These improvements could lead to better overall efficiency and shorter commuting times.”

Sadly, Audi will only be introducing the technology in select US cities for the time being. However, we should be able to expect similar technology to be implemented in the UAE’s own smart city initiatives in the near future.

This is an early example of a V2I system, which will be a key element of smart cities. The system aims to make roads safer, traffic smoother and fuel consumption more efficient. It is currently under development by the US Department of Transportation’s research division.

The German automaker has previous when it comes to integrating connectivity to its vehicles. In 2010, it became the first manufacturer to offer a broadband-enabled vehicle.

#GNTECH has reached out to local Audi reps for information on when this technology will be available in the region. We’ll update you when we learn more.

In other smart automotive news, Ford yesterday announced its intention to bring autonomous driverless vehicles for ride-sharing purposes by 2021. The American carmaker has been aggressively investing in start-ups for this purpose.