Audi has taken another step towards autonomous driving by launching the Traffic Light Information (TLI) system.
Already available in Las Vegas, which has become the first city to activate vehicle-to-vehicle-infrastructure (V2I), the technology is currently limited to US-spec A4 and Q7 models equipped with Audi Connect, and sees the municipal traffic management centers communicating the traffic-light data to the company’s project partner Traffic Technology Services (TTS).
“For the first time, our cars are exchanging data with traffic infrastructure in real time. Drivers can adapt their behavior to the situation and move through city traffic in a much more relaxed and controlled way. We increase energy efficiency when we connect our Audi models to smart cities. Further V2I services will follow, making the car into an interactive mobile device. We see autonomous driving as the end of this development“, said Audi AG’s head of Electronics Pre-Development, Andreas Reich.
Called Time-to-Green, and relying on 4G/LTE connectivity to receive data, the system’s first function shows drivers whether they will reach the next light on green, by displaying it in the Audi Virtual Cockpit or HUD. If not, then a countdown is provided of the time remaining until the next green phase. If used properly, the technology can improve traffic flow and save fuel, as tests conducted in Europe have shown.
What happens in Vegas doesn’t stay in Vegas, though, as Audi is also planning to launch the TLI in other cities across the United States, and eventually Europe. “In Europe, highly diverse traffic technology is in use, as the infrastructure has developed locally and decentrally. We are working on harmonization of the data that have been prepared. After that has been done, we can provide Traffic Light Information in Europe, too“, said Audi’s TLI Project Manager, Michael Zweck.