Audi has introduced connectivity between some of its latest cars and the traffic light system in Las Vegas.
The German car maker is thought to be the first to launch vehicle-to-infrastructure technology in the United States.
Traffic Light Information is available on selected 2017 Audi A4 and Q7 models with an active Audi Connect Prime subscription. It is the first step in connecting a vehicle to its surrounding infrastructure, according to Audi.
The car receives real-time signal information from the advanced traffic management system that monitors traffic lights via the on-board 4G LTE data connection.
When a driver approaches a connected traffic light, the car’s display shows the time remaining until the signal changes to green. Audi says that this additional information helps reduce stress and allows the driver to relax knowing approximately how much time remains before the light changes.
The technology also helps to save time, cut fuel costs and optimise traffic flow.
“In our tests the number of cars that had to brake to a standstill in traffic fell by around 20%,” said Michael Zweck, project manager for Audi Traffic Light Information. “This saved time for the driver and also made fuel savings of about 15% in the pilot project.”
In the future, it may also be possible to integrate information from advanced traffic management systems into vehicle start/stop features, navigation systems to optimise routing, and predictive services such as presenting the driver with a speed recommendation designed to maximise the number of green lights they encounter.
And smart cities will be able to use this technology to better understand traffic patterns and could adapt the traffic signals to reduce congestion and improve traffic flow.