Audi is introducing an advanced traffic light recognition technology that could render city driving more fluid, thus saving time and fuel. Audi Online traffic light information uses Audi connect to start a connection between the car and the traffic light network through the central traffic computer in each town or city. Audi Online then assimilates the automated traffic light change sequences in the vicinity.
On the approach, the information is sent to a set of lights -- the Driver Information System (DIS) -- located in the central instrument cluster, which shows the driver the speed to select to pass through the light during a green phase. The DIS also displays a visual aid using red, amber or green icons. If the driver is waiting at a red light, Audi connect will calculate and count down the time remaining until the next green light will appear via a timer on the DIS.
The system will also interact with the car’s Start-Stop function to switch on the engine five seconds before the green phase. Audi said the Online traffic light interaction has the potential to cut carbon dioxide emissions by up to 15 per cent, and save up to 900 million liters of fuel if it were to be deployed in Germany.
The now fully functional system is now production-ready and could be installed in every Audi model, subject to the necessary government legislation. Audi recently demonstrated the system on the Las Vegas freeways in an Audi A6 Saloon as part of a technology display at the Consumer Electronics Show.
Audi is continuing comprehensive testing of the system in Las Vegas with 50 sets of traffic lights; in Verona, Italy, with 60 traffic lights; and in Berlin, Germany where 25 Audi customers are driving cars fitted with Online traffic information that could connect up to a total of 1,000 traffic lights in the city. [source: Audi]