2017 Audi A4
Science fiction is quickly becoming science fact. Like something out of iRobot companies like Audi have been working on self driving cars, but to really make the system work well these machines need to talk to one another and their surrounding infrastructure. The German luxury car maker is now offering Vehicle-to-Infrastructure (V2I) on select 2017 Audi A4, Q7 and allroad models.
The first phase of the new technology is allowing the vehicle to talk to traffic lights. The first US city that is implementing these smart traffic lights is Las Vegas, Nevada. The car is able to communicate with the traffic signals using a 4G LTE connection.
“The launch of this technology is another in a long list of firsts for Audi that have positioned us as the industry leader in connectivity solutions,” said Audi of America President Scott Keogh. “V2I applications and services like Traffic Light Information are essential components as we continue to move toward an autonomous future. We applaud the innovative approach of Las Vegas in working with us on V2I as well as on our various piloted driving demonstrations over the past years.”
In its current incarnation when an equipped vehicle approaches a traffic light that it can communicate with, it shows the driver the time remaining until the light changes. This information is displayed in the instrument cluster and the heads up display (when equipped). This helps the driver to better be able to know if they can safely proceed through the intersection.
“The Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada (RTC) is proud to be the first in the nation to connect our traffic signal network to vehicles through our collaboration with Audi,” said Tina Quigley, RTC General Manager. “This vehicle-to-infrastructure technology will help reduce congestion and enhance mobility on our already crowded roadways. Beyond the glitz and glamour of the Las Vegas Strip, Southern Nevada continues to lead the way in transportation technology creating smart cities and communities for our residents and visitors.”
The next step is to expand the infrastructure to more cities. Eventually, this technology could prove vital when cars start driving themselves (something we have mixed feelings about).
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