As a driver, one of the most infuriating thing we have to experience is being stuck at the red light. Thankfully, Audi has debuted their new Traffic Light Information (TLI) technology that can at least help take some of the edge off by estimating how long will the traffic light turns green.
In collaboration with the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada, Audi’s TLI is the first time vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) communication tech has been fitted to a production car, and it’s already available on the market. The connectivity behind the tech is the fruit of a long relationship between Audi and Nevada — which is rapidly becoming a sort of hotbed of connected car and autonomous vehicle technology development.
The Traffic Light Information feature appears in the vehicle as a countdown timer that appears in the Audi Virtual Cockpit and in the head-up displays whenever it is required to. The technology uses 4G LTE built into the Audi Connect system that is already present in the A4. Traffic Light Information utilizes real-time traffic light timing data — pulled directly from the very same traffic management center that sets the timing of all of the traffic lights in the region using GPS data so the vehicle can calculate exactly which traffic light is the driver approaching, whether that light is red or green, and how long until it changes.
Armed with this information, the driver can decide whether he/she need to stay alert and ready to go as the light can change in just a few seconds. The timers disappear from the Virtual Cockpit and HUD at the four-second mark.
The technology can also calculate when is the appropriate moment to go through an intersection based on how fast the vehicle is travelling.
The Traffic Light Information system doesn’t always display by design. Behind the scenes, Audi’s and the TMC’s servers are quietly vetting their confidence in each light and the system only displays information that meets a certain confidence level. So if an emergency vehicle passes and resets the timing of an intersection, TLI may not display info for a few cycles.
As of now, the Traffic Light Information is now available on new 2017 A4 (including the Allroad) and Q7. However, Audi stated that more cities and regional traffic monitoring centres in the States and Europe will be adopting the V2I standards and will be certainly added to Traffic Light Information’s coverage area.
Additionally, the technology will be added to future Audi vehicles including the upcoming A5 and Q5 models early next year.