When driving through the streets en route to your destination, how many traffic lights do you have to encounter? Chances are, you probably have to go through at least one or two traffic lights – maybe more – before reaching your destination.
Audi has a solution that could avoid the annoying red light punctuation with its advanced traffic light recognition technology. Essentially, it relies on in-car internet to connect to the traffic systems in a town or city, at which point it can relay information to the driver on the cycle of the traffic lights ahead.
This technology will quickly assimilate the automated traffic light change sequences in the vicinity, and on the approach to a set of lights the Driver Information System (DIS) located in the central instrument cluster then shows the driver the speed to select in order to pass through the light during a green phase. It also displays a visual aid using red, amber or green icons.
If the driver is already waiting at a red light, Audi connect will calculate and count down the time remaining until the next green light is scheduled to appear via a timer on the DIS. The system also interacts with the car’s Start-Stop function to ensure the engine is switched on five seconds before the green phase.
According to the automaker, this technology is now production ready and could be fitted to every future Audi model in the range subject to the necessary government legislation. It was actively demonstrated recently on the Las Vegas freeways in an Audi A6 Saloon as part of a trailblazing technology display at the Consumer Electronics Show, and comprehensive testing continues in Las Vegas with 50 sets of traffic lights.
Testing is also underway in the northern Italian city of Verona, where some 60 traffic lights covering almost the entire city centre are involved, and in Berlin, where 25 Audi customers are driving cars fitted with Online traffic information that can link up to a total of 1,000 traffic lights in the city. In addition to Audi, Honda is also working on a similar system that could be implemented in its future models soon.