The idea that your car can understand traffic light patterns still seems far-fetched as we’re still trying to grapple with limited self-driving technology. But Audi has been gradually releasing its Traffic Light Information system around the US over the last couple of years, and it’s finally reached the nation’s capital.
Audi said Wednesday it’s expanding its Traffic Light Information system to Washington, DC, making it the seventh US area to accept the technology. In short, the Vehicle-to-Infrastructure (V2I) system on some 2017 and 2018 Audi models can receive information from a centralized traffic light management system on how much time before a red light turns to green through the car’s built-in 4G LTE hotspot.
The automaker first released the technology in 2016 in Las Vegas, and it’s since spread to cities such as Dallas, Denver, Houston and Palo Alto, as the system now supports traffic signals for more than 1,600 intersections in the US. For Audi, technology such as the traffic light information system could be used to give better routes through the navigation system, or even to optimize when a vehicle would be best to slow down ahead of a changing light.
Which is a step towards the connected city that some other automakers and companies have been touting as the way forward. While that may be a vision for the more distant future, the ability to see if a traffic light is going to turn green in a matter of seconds seems like a convenience that is much more attainable now.
Audi’s Traffic Light Information is available on 2017 and 2018 models with an Audi Connect Prime subscription.