Audi Becomes the First Brand to Offer Vehicle-to-Infrastructure Connectivity Services
The system will communicate with traffic light system in select areas as early as 2017by Robert Moore, on
Audi likes to believe it is changing the world for the better, and it has now announced the latest development in its Audi Connect Prime services. This newest feature, which is being offered in conjunction with Traffic Technology Services, is called Traffic Light Information, and will apparently allow equipped Audi models to connect with the traffic light infrastructure in certain cities. The 2017 Audi Q7, Audi A4, and A4 Allroad will be the first models to get this new technology.
To put things simply, this technology will allow the car to receive real-time signal information from advanced traffic management systems across the United States. The link is created via the on-board LTE data connection and Traffic Technology Services’ company servers. For now, this feature will allow equipped vehicles to display the amount of time left before a traffic signal changes from red to green. It will be displayed in the driver information center and on the heads-up display if equipped.
Pom Malhotra, the General Manager of Connect Vehicles, said, “This feature represents Audi’s first step in vehicle-to-infrastructure integration. 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. These improvements could lead to better overall efficiency and shorter commuting times.”
The city side of these services are set to roll out in fall of 2016 in select “smart cities” and metropolitan areas and new areas will be added “through 2017 and beyond.” Q7, A4, and A4 Allroad models built after June 1st will have the feature available when equipped with Audi Connect Prime services.
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Why it Matters
Normally I’m all about new technology and connectivity, but I don’t really see what the big deal is with a traffic light information system. It has no real benefit for people in the short term, as I don’t believe knowing how much time you have before the light changes to green really matters. Of course, those who like to race on the streets will surely love the ability to time the green light down to the second. The problem is, too many people like to fly through “yellow” lights and if you have some kid in daddy’s A4 impatiently watching the timer hit zero instead of the traffic, it could lead to an accident. In the future, however, this will be of huge importance for fully autonomous cars, as they will need this connectivity to know when to stop and go. So, in the long run, this service could be of heavy importance, but for now, I think it is just another pointless service that people will opt for just because it is available.