Audi develops tech that can ‘talk’ to traffic lights

Audi develops tech that can ‘talk’ to traffic lights
Waiting at traffic lights can be one of the most frustrating parts of driving – especially when you narrowly miss the chance to go through before they turn red.

But this stress could soon be a thing of the past for some drivers as Audi is planning to develop technology allowing its vehicles to “talk” to traffic lights.

The “vehicle-to-infrastructure”, or V-to-I, technology will notify drivers when traffic lights are to turn green, while also alerting them when they will not make it through before a red light.

It will use the cloud to wirelessly send safety information and other operational data from vehicles to traffic lights.

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This will eventually help to reduce the risk of crashes occurring on the roads, as well as cutting the amount of congestion.

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But the general manager of Audi’s connected vehicles division said that initially the technology would be used more to improve comfort and convenience than safety behind the wheel.

Pom Malhotra said that having the ability to know when lights are due to change would help to take away some of the stress that comes from waiting.

He added that the tech would also give drivers more of a chance to prepare before setting off from lights.

Meanwhile, telling motorists that lights are set to turn red will give them more time to brake.

Audi, which is owned by Volkswagen, said the feature would be activated in between five and seven cities in the US over the course of this year.

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The firm added that the feature had already been installed in A4 cars built after June 1 2016, with some Q7 models to receive it next year.

While experts have said the technology would require a significant investment to be feasible in the UK, it has a number of potential applications that could help to transform the way we drive.

These include connecting the feature to a navigation system or using it in conjunction with a stop-start function.

The technology could also be used to tell drivers that they should limit their speed to match the flow of traffic lights, according to the firm.

Copyright Press Association 2016. Motoring News articles do not reflect the RAC's views unless clearly stated.