Popular German car manufacturer Audi could soon be rolling out new technology which will allow its cars to communicate with traffic lights, allowing for an easier drive.
According to Audi of America, now owned by Volkswagen, selected 2017 A4 and Q7 models built after June 1 2016 will be equipped with the new system.
The technology is known in the industry as ‘V-to-I’, or vehicle to infrastructure. Not only does it enable a car to display a countdown of how long is left before a red light turns to green, but it can also create countdowns for when approaching green signals will turn red, stopping the driver from running red lights. These features would therefore let drivers pay more attention to the other cars on the road rather than the signals, and would also help them to stop and pull away more safely.
General manager of Audi’s connected vehicles division, Pom Malhotra, said: “This is our foray into V-to-I. This is designed not as a safety feature but a comfort and convenience feature.”
Towards automated cars
Audi’s executives also have other plans for how they can use the new technology in their upcoming vehicles. These include connecting the communication to both navigation systems and stop/start functions, as well as advising a vehicle to stay at a certain speed to match the flow of the traffic lights. The ideas also come at a time when carmakers are trying to implement vehicle-to-vehicle communication (‘V-to-V’) and move towards greater automation on the road in general, though the challenges come in the form of needing a secure communications infrastructure as well as co-operation with transport agencies and city administration.
Currently the plans are to roll out the capability in around seven cities across the US this year. The capabilities in these cities will be switched on one by one, though Audi have not yet revealed which cities would be first to trial the new technology. We could possibly see this technology being introduced in the UK a couple of years later. If you can’t wait that long to get yourself a new vehicle, why not download our car buying app
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Image: William Warby
, available under Creative Commons