Cars will alert drivers about how long until the light turns green
Nobody enjoys waiting at red lights, especially when you don’t know how long it’ll be until you can get moving again. Some Audi models will make that a little bit easier on U.S. drivers, however, with the launch of a new traffic light information system.
The system will be offered in the 2017 Audi A4, A4 Allroad, and Q7 starting this fall. The car’s infotainment system uses the built-in LTE data connection to download information about the status of traffic lights, and then shows a countdown timer on the instrument cluster or head-up display that indicates when a red light will turn green. No more guessing when the lights will change when sitting at a busy intersection.
For now the traffic-light countdown feature is merely a convenience factor for drivers, but Audi wants to explore further developments of the traffic light information system.
“In the future we could envision this technology integrated into vehicle navigation, start / stop functionality, and it can even be used to help improve traffic flow in municipalities,” Pom Galhotra, Audi general manager for connected vehicles, said in a statement. “These improvements could lead to better overall efficiency and shorter commuting times.”
The feature will only be available in certain U.S. cities with “smart” traffic lights. Audi hasn’t yet said which cities will be included, but a spokesman told Motor1 the automaker plans to announce locations “in the coming weeks.” The service requires that Audi drivers have a subscription to the company’s Connect PRIME telematics service. A subscription costs $199 USD for six months or $750 USD for a five-year plan.
There's no word yet on Canadian Audi products being equipped with the traffic light information system, but don't be surprised if it comes here if the U.S. version is a success.