Audi first with V2I, alerting drivers when signal turns green

Audi first with V2I, alerting drivers when signal turns green

Audi is aiming to be the first automaker with vehicle to infrastructure (V2I) communication service available in production cars.

Automakers and government officials have been exploring a wide range of potential uses for wireless communications in upcoming vehicles, allowing real-time information sharing between cars and infrastructure.

Reflecting the costs and challenges associated with infrastructure modernization, Audi’s initial implementation will be limited to traffic-light alerts in select cities with advanced traffic management systems. When stopped at a ‘connected’ light, the driver information system or head-up display will show a countdown timer for the signal change to green.

“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,” said Audi connected vehicle manager Pom Malhotra. “These improvements could lead to better overall efficiency and shorter commuting times.”

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has pressured legislators to provide more funding and remove red tape for vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communications technology. The agency suggests V2V and V2I systems, such as cross-traffic awareness, could help prevent 600,000 crashes and 1,000 deaths each year.

Audi’s traffic-light alerts will be available on 2017 Q7, A4 and A4 Allroad models built after June 1. Other automakers, including Toyota and General Motors, plan to launch V2V and V2I tech in the coming years.