I've heard about this before and have been waiting for this. Badly needed in North America, as we lack roundabouts and always end up getting stuck at signal lights, many of which lack smart traffic sensors due to municipal budget constraints. This would be a significant boost in fleet efficiency, if widely adopted.
Audi's New Tech Tells You When Traffic Lights Will Go Green
In what’s being called an industry first, Audi has launched a feature that will allow its cars to communicate with traffic signals, notifying drivers when lights are about to change. In addition to maybe being useful for dusting AMGs at stoplights, it’s an important advancement in connected cars.
Vehicle to Infrastructure, called V2I, is a term used to reference technology that lets cars send and receive real-time data to and from their surroundings in an aim to improve driving safety and efficiency.
Audi’s new V2I system, called Audi Traffic light information, will allow drivers of certain 2017 Audi Q7s, A4s and A4 allroads learn when lights are about to change colors, ultimately improving traffic flow and fuel economy as drivers adjust their driving styles accordingly.
The way it works is, the car will use an on-board LTE data connection to communicate with cities’ advanced traffic management systems, whose light phase information is relayed via Traffic Technology Services, Inc. servers.
The servers will tell the cars traffic signal information, which will be displayed as a graphic on the cluster and head-up display, ultimately showing how many seconds until traffic signs change colors. Here’s how the cluster graphic looks:
The system will be available on 2017 Q7, A4 and A4 allroads equipped with Audi connect, and built after June 1st. Automotive News says the new tech will likely be rolled out in five to seven cities to start, but will expand later to more areas.
For now, the fuel economy and traffic flow benefit will come entirely from changes to driver behavior, as they let off the gas if they know a traffic light is about to turn red, or release the brakes if they know the light will soon turn green. The less the drivers use their brakes, the more efficient their driving habits.
In addition, it’s designed to help traffic flow. Eventually cities and cars could communicate with each other to find bottlenecks and congested areas, adjusting the flow to keep everyone moving more smoothly.
It’s a common-sense technology that could make for safer and more efficient commutes—well, until vehicle-to-vehicle tech makes traffic signals obsolete.
We at least have something sort of related in Chicago for bicyclists. The signal lights on certain roads downtown are somehow timed for green waves if 12 mph is maintained.
I've heard some lights have countdown timers - useful I guess if you don't have start-stop technology and want to know whether it is worth turning your engine off, and being able to restart without becoming a road block.
Yea I was thinking that, what's wrong with timers like they have in Japan, Russia etc? It wont make a big difference, if people can see they've got 3 seconds left until the light goes red, they're still going to boot it anyway, and having a mini countdown on your dash will encourage revving engines and racing other drivers. Fail.
Seems like an interesting widget but if the STUPID people in charge would set the proper timing interval to the lights that would seem a better overall solution. Downtown Houston has had going on 3 decades of certain streets where the lights are out of sequence. You can drive 22mph and go for blocks but will never get through certain intersections. Then repeat until the other set of mis-timed lights.
After driving here for 50 years I know the lights as well as the potholes. Passed one Clown at 5 in a row, coasting with the engine off. It was fortunate one lane was still clear. Every day I hear an engine screaming as the Dummus races to another red light, while I coast to the future green and moving traffic. Did a 2 hill coast from a 45 mph zone down to 25 going past William&Mary College today. Hit 111 mpg for a very short period of time.
One time I drove through 64 lights without stopping, a distance of 35 miles. Didn't happen very often, but it was great when it did, especially in a metropolitan area of well over 1 million residents.