New Audis know when the lights are going to change

A conversation has started between our cars and our cities that could save you time on the morning commute.

With the tech boom in full swing, our cars are becoming smarter. They have inbuilt navigation systems, act as personal Wi-Fi hotspots, have learnt to drive themselves, and now they are speaking with our cities.

Audi have announced the first vehicle to infrastructure (V2I) service connecting your car to select city’s traffic light information systems. Although the tech has been available through apps such as EnLighten for some time, Audi will be the first automaker to market in America with a car-integrated system.

The technology allows drivers to see how long a light has left, calculates the fastest route based on traffic signal data, and can even tell you the optimal speed to drive to make each green light on a stretch of road. A timer will count down on the instrument cluster or heads up display when stopped at a red light, and connects to the vehicle via the onboard LTE data connection.

“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,” says Pom Malhotra, General Manager, Connected Vehicles. “These improvements could lead to better overall efficiency and shorter commuting times.”

Unfortunately, the availability of this technology will be limited. Owners will have to pay for Audi’s Connect Prime data subscription to access the services, and the prices aren’t cheap. The tech is also limited to the Audi Q7, A4 and A4 all-road models built after June 1st, 2016, and only those models with Audi Connect.

There is no announcement yet as to whether the services will work in with the Australian traffic network, however Audi’s commitment to innovation would suggest it isn’t far away.