Audis will be able to talk to traffic lights this year

Audi announced today that its 2017 vehicles will be available with vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) communication technology that enables them to inform drivers when lights will switch from red to green.

Audi of America will begin to roll out the traffic light information feature as part of its suite of Audi connect PRIME services later this fall in select smart cities and in metropolitan areas across the country through 2017. The company said traffic light information system is only the first step in V2I integration.


For more than a decade, the DOT has been researching the potential benefits of connected vehicle technology, which allows vehicles to communicate with each other, roadway infrastructure, traffic management centers, and consumer mobile devices.

Using Wi-Fi connectivity, which Audi began offering in vehicles this year, a link between vehicle and infrastructure is routed via the on-board LTE data connection and then through servers owned by Beaverton, Ore.-based Traffic Technology Services Inc.

While waiting at a connected traffic light, the driver information system in the instrument cluster, as well as in heads-up-display equipped vehicles, indicates the time remaining until a signal changes to green.

The traffic light information system will be available on select 2017 Audi Q7, A4 and A4 allroad models with Audi Connect.

The Department of Transportation does not require the more than 330,000 traffic signals in the US to have internet connectivity, but cities are deploying the technology as part of the DOT's national Connected Vehicle Pilot deployment program.

An annual survey from traffic systems software company Miovision shows that about 48% of municipality respondents' signals are connected, according to ABIResearch analyst Susan Beardslee.

Audi has tested the new traffic light information service in Palo Alto, Calif., Las Vegas and Washington, D.C., Beardslee said.

While Audi is not saying which cities will be deployment sites, Traffic Technology Services’s website shows the following cities as of last year: Las Vegas, New York City, Miami, Portland, Washington D.C., San Francisco (near Palo Alto), Los Angeles and San Diego, Beardslee added.

V2I is the wireless exchange of critical safety and operational data between vehicles and roadway infrastructure, intended primarily to avoid motor vehicle crashes. V2I has been a key research program of the Intelligent Transportation Systems Joint Program Office (ITS JPO) at the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT).

For more than a decade, the DOT has been researching the potential benefits of connected vehicle technology, which allows vehicles to communicate with each other, roadway infrastructure, traffic management centers and consumer mobile devices.

In the future, V2I technology could be integrated with autonomous driving technology enabling vehicles to obey traffic signals without driver intervention.

In 2015, automakers began to introduce wireless broadcasts of vehicle operational data, which can be used for V2I and vehicle‐to‐vehicle communications (V2V). While helping to avoid vehicle crashes, V2V and V2I could also alleviate traffic congestion by controlling the flow of traffic more efficiently through intelligent transportation systems.

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