Audi Launches Red Light-Sensing Car Technology In Las Vegas

Image courtesy of rich renomeron

Back in August, Audi announced that it was working on technology that would let cars communicate with traffic lights so drivers know when the lights will turn from red to green. The carmaker is now ready to roll that tech out onto real streets, starting in Las Vegas.

Instead of having to sit and wait and wonder when the light will change, U.S. drivers will be able to chill out a bit more, an Audi executive explained to reporters (via the Las Vegas Review-Journal).

“A lot of the behavior in the car changes to a more relaxed form of driving,” Anupam Malhotra, director of connected vehicles for Audi America, said during a demonstration of the company’s “vehicle to infrastructure service” (V2I). “There are a lot of things that you could be doing while knowing fully that you’re not really taking your attention away from the road. That’s because the display is counting down right in front of you, showing the seconds until you need to go.”

Cars receive real-time signal information from the advanced traffic management system that monitors traffic lights, Audi has explained, by sending information via the car’s on-board LTE data connection and Traffic Technology Services, Inc. servers. The driver information system will then provide a countdown clock of the time remaining until the signal changes to green.

Audi chose southern Nevada to launch the technology because traffic lights operated by Clark County and the cities of Las Vegas, North Las Vegas, and Henderson are centrally controlled and monitored from the commission’s traffic management center, the Review-Journal notes.

That’s not the case in areas like Southern California, where there are too many cooks in the kitchen, what with government, transportation, and law enforcement agencies involved in running a wider area, an Audi spokesman explained.

The company is now working with around 10 other, unspecified, cities around the country to implement the countdown system.

“It’s a first step but a very interesting first step when you start thinking about the information that the driver receives and what this could lead to,” the spokesman said.

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