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Audi to Unveil Cars That Talk to Traffic Signals (VLKAY)

Investopedia logoInvestopedia 17-08-2016 Donna Fuscaldo
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As the race to bring the first connected and driverless cars to the market heats up, Audi, the German vehicle maker owned by Volkswagen AG took another step to make it a reality, announcing this week it will roll out new technology that enables some of its cars and trucks to communicate with traffic signals.

The technology, dubbed vehicle-to-infrastructure or V-to-I will be found in select Audi 2017 Q7 and A4 models. It marks the first time the nascent technology is being used to share data wirelessly between vehicles and traffic signals. "This feature represents Audi’s first step in vehicle-to-infrastructure integration," said Pom Malhotra, General Manager, Connected Vehicles in a press release. "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."

The first use of this technology will enable cars to communicate with traffic signals in select cities and metropolitan areas around the U.S. later this year. A display on the instrument panel will alert drivers that a red light is changing by counting down the seconds until it turns green. The countdown will also kick in if the vehicle doesn’t think it will make the light before it turns red, giving the driver enough time to slow down and brake for the traffic signal. In the future, the technology can be used to share data with other infrastructure like bridges to improve safety on the roads and eventually control the flow of traffic.  The vehicles will get information from the traffic light from a data link. Audi is working with Traffic Technology Services to make the communications between the car and traffic lights work.

This isn’t the first time Audi was ahead of its competitors when it comes to connected technology for its vehicles. Six years ago it was the first vehicle manufacture to rollout a broadband enabled vehicle and in 2014 it had another first: offering 4G/LTE Broadband connectivity in its cars and trucks.

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