Cars will communicate over an LTE network to traffic lights in select cities starting this fall.
German carmaker Audi announced plans to launch the first IoT-based vehicle to infrastructure service in which several models of its connected cars can communicate with traffic signals.
The cars will be able to receive real-time data from the city’s advanced traffic management system, which monitors traffic lights, the company stated. The link is routed via the car’s LTE data connection. While waiting at a connected light, the driver information system will display the time remaining until the light changes. That information disappears a few moments before the light actually turns green to force the driver to pay attention, an important safety measure.
“This feature represents Audi’s first step in vehicle-to-infrastructure integration,” said Pom Malhotra, Audi’s general manager of connected vehicles. “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.”
Company executives said future applications may include using the traffic signal data to advise the vehicle on the speed necessary to maintain in order to match the flow of the lights, and hoped that it could lead to connected cars being able to talk to each other to reduce traffic jams and accidents.
The service will be available on 2017 Audi Q7, A4 and A4 allroad® models built after June 1, 2016. The initiative will begin in five to seven US cities this fall with more to come in the future. The company did not disclose the names of those cities, but said the functionality will be turned on one city at a time.