Vehicle-to-infrastructure tech for A4, Q7, and Allroad debuts in Las Vegas.
Sitting in stop-and-go traffic could be a little less frustrating if you’re driving in Las Vegas with an Audi. It’s in the Nevada city that Audi is rolling out its Traffic Light Information technology, making it the first automaker to put that vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) feature into public use.
Traffic Light Information works on certain 2017 Audi A4, Q7, and Allroad models with a subscription to the Audi Connect Prime telematics system. It provides drivers with a message in the instrument cluster and/or head-up display indicating how long it will be until a red traffic light turns green. Audi says the feature will help reduce driver stress by letting drivers know how soon they’ll need to start driving again.
Going forward, Audi says it would like to integrate Traffic Light Information with the car’s navigation system, to avoid stop-and-go traffic, or with the engine stop-start function to save fuel.
“V2I applications and services like Traffic Light Information are essential components as we continue to move toward an autonomous future,” Audi of America president Scott Keogh said in a statement.
For now the system is only available in Las Vegas; Audi worked with the region’s transportation commission to upgrade traffic signals with V2I technology. Audi plans to expand the availability of Traffic Light Information to other U.S. cities over the coming months as those areas upgrade their signals, but hasn’t yet announced which cities are in the works. The automaker is working with connected-car company Traffic Technology Services to expand the reach of V2I.
In addition to buying the car, buyers must have the aforementioned Connect Prime subscription, which costs $199 for six months or $499 for an 18-month plan.
Gallery: Audi first to launch Traffic Light Information tech in U.S.
“The launch of this technology is another in a long list of firsts for Audi that have positioned us as the industry leader in connectivity solutions,” said Audi of America President Scott Keogh. “V2I applications and services like Traffic Light Information are essential components as we continue to move toward an autonomous future. We applaud the innovative approach of Las Vegas in working with us on V2I as well as on our various piloted driving demonstrations over the past years.”
Traffic Light Information, an Audi connect PRIME feature, is available on select 2017 Audi A4, Q7 & allroad® models, and enables the car to communicate with the infrastructure in select cities and metropolitan areas across the U.S. The car receives real-time signal information from the advanced traffic management system that monitors traffic lights via the on-board 4G LTE data connection.
When approaching a connected traffic light, Traffic Light Information displays the time remaining until the signal changes to green in the driver instrument cluster, as well as the head-up-display (if equipped). Providing the driver with this additional information helps reduce stress and allows the driver to relax knowing approximately how much time remains before the changing of the light.
This “time-to-green” feature will be the first feature to leverage the Audi Traffic Light Information service. In the future, it may be possible to integrate information from these advanced traffic management systems into vehicle start/stop features, navigation systems to optimize routing, and predictive services such as presenting the driver with a speed recommendation designed to maximize the number of green lights one can make in sequence. All of these services would be designed to either improve efficiency, drive time or traffic management.
Traffic Light Information is launching this December in the U.S. beginning with Las Vegas, NV and will be available to customers with select Audi A4, Q7 and A4 allroad® models (manufactured after June 1, 2016) equipped with an active Audi connect® PRIME subscription. Continued expansion to additional cities across the U.S. is ongoing as we work with municipalities to prepare their infrastructure for V2I connectivity. Audi has partnered with Traffic Technology Services (TTS) to facilitate the transfer of traffic light data to Audi vehicles.
The contribution Audi is making in the connected infrastructure will enrich the experience for Audi owners first, then ultimately for all drivers as other manufacturers begin to integrate this technology into their vehicles. In the future smart cities will be able to use this technology to better understand traffic patterns and could adapt traffic signal behavior to reduce congestion and improve traffic flow.
“The Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada (RTC) is proud to be the first in the nation to connect our traffic signal network to vehicles through our collaboration with Audi," said Tina Quigley, RTC General Manager. “This vehicle-to-infrastructure technology will help reduce congestion and enhance mobility on our already crowded roadways. Beyond the glitz and glamour of the Las Vegas Strip, Southern Nevada continues to lead the way in transportation technology creating smart cities and communities for our residents and visitors.”
Nevada issued autonomous vehicle licenses for Audi to drive from California to Las Vegas three years ago and now Las Vegas is the first city to go live with V2I integration. The integration of this technology further demonstrates that Las Vegas is the model for smart cities of the future.
Traffic Light Information is the latest in a line of pioneering connected car innovations by Audi. In 2010, Audi was the first manufacturer to offer a mobile connectivity enabled vehicle. Since then, Audi connect® has continued to expand on its industry-leading services and capabilities. In 2014, Audi was the first manufacturer to offer 4G LTE connectivity in the Audi A3 model line. Strategic partnerships and proprietary scalable infotainment architecture has allowed Audi to continuously offer our customers the latest in mobile connectivity solutions.