Latest Motor News // 15 May 2014
Audi fans will be delighted at the announcement that the new online traffic light recognition system is now market ready. The idea of this is to help drivers hit green lights instead of red lights, thus saving both time and fuel. Called Audi Online Traffic Light Information, the technology was demonstrated in January at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas and testing is also under way in Verona and Berlin.
Here’s how it works and why it will benefit you – and your wallet.
Although referred to (by Audi) as traffic light recognition, the system isn’t really ‘recognising’ traffic lights at all. Instead it uses in-car internet connectivity to talk to a town or city’s central traffic light computer. This allows it to “quickly assimilate the automated traffic light change sequences” nearby. Once it knows the nearby sequences, it can then advise the driver what speed to travel at to reach the next traffic light while it is on green, via the standard Driver Information System (DIS) – the screen in the middle of the instrument cluster.
This includes a quick visual aid using red, amber or green icons.
If the system is activated while you are already at a red light, it will also count down the time until the light changes to green, while also ensuring the car’s stop-start function has re-engaged the engine in plenty of time (five seconds before lift-off).
Assuming that all goes according to plan, Audi says the major benefits are increased traffic flow and a significant reduction in CO2 emission. Less fuel will be wasted from cars standing still, in fact, it is calculated that CO2 emissions could fall by up to 15%.
It’s not rocket science to work out that the less fuel your car uses stating still, the less money you spend travelling to a destination that you should also be reaching in a shorter time. It’s very much a win-win in all regards and exciting news for all drivers.