Nobody enjoys waiting at red lights, especially when you don’t know how long it’ll be until you can get moving again. Some Audi models will make that a little bit easier on U.S. drivers, however, with the launch of a new traffic light information system.
The system will be offered in the 2017 Audi A4, A4 Allroad, and Q7 starting this fall. The car’s infotainment system uses the built-in LTE data connection to download information about the status of traffic lights, and then shows a countdown timer on the instrument cluster or head-up display that indicates when a red light will turn green. No more guessing when the lights will change when sitting at a busy intersection.
For now the traffic-light countdown feature is merely a convenience factor for drivers, but Audi wants to explore further developments of the traffic light information system.
“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,” Pom Galhotra, Audi general manager for connected vehicles, said in a statement. “These improvements could lead to better overall efficiency and shorter commuting times.”
The feature will only be available in certain U.S. cities with “smart” traffic lights. Audi hasn’t yet said which cities will be included, but a spokesman told Motor1 the automaker plans to announce locations “in the coming weeks.” The service requires that Audi drivers have a subscription to the company’s Connect PRIME telematics service. A subscription costs $199 for six months or $750 for a five-year plan.
Gallery: Audi vehicle-to-traffic-light communication coming to U.S.
Audi of America in conjunction with Traffic Technology Services (TTS) will be launching the first V2I technology called Traffic light information that will be arriving on select 2017 Audi Q7, A4 and A4 allroad® models this fall.
“Continuous innovation in connected car services and advanced driver assistance systems that enrich and improve the customer experience is at the core of the Audi brand and our collective future,” said Scott Keogh, President, Audi of America.
Traffic light information, an Audi connect PRIME feature, enables the car to communicate with the infrastructure in select cities and metropolitan areas across the U.S. 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 the on-board LTE data connection and Traffic Technology Services, Inc. servers.
While waiting at a connected traffic light, the driver information system in the instrument cluster, as well as the head-up-display (if equipped), indicates the time remaining until the signal changes to green.
"This feature represents Audi’s first step in vehicle-to-infrastructure integration," said Pom Malhotra, General Manager, Connected Vehicles. "In the future we could envision this technology integrated into vehicle navigation, start / stop functionality and can even be used to help improve traffic flow in municipalities. These improvements could lead to better overall efficiency and shorter commuting times."
Audi of America will begin to roll out the new Traffic light information as part of its suite of Audi connect PRIME services later this fall in select smart cities and metropolitan areas across the country through 2017 and beyond. The feature is available on 2017 Audi Q7, A4 and A4 allroad® models built after JUNE 1st, 2016.
Traffic light information is the latest in a line of pioneering connected car innovations by Audi. In 2010, Audi was the first manufacturer to offer a broadband enabled vehicle. Since then, Audi connect® has continued to expanded on its industry-leading services and capabilities. In 2014, Audi was the first manufacture to offer 4G/LTE Broadband connectivity. Strategic partnerships and a proprietary scalable infotainment architecture has allowed Audi to continuously offer our customers the latest in mobile connectivity solutions.