Green Lighting Your Drive

What if you knew whether the next traffic light was green or red? How can you make sure you can make all of your traffic lights safely?

As an outgrowth of driver assistance technology is another layer of safety that will enable drivers to know what the next traffic light will be and how safely to approach it. On the forefront of this technology is Audi through a new feature called Green Light Optimized Speed Advisory.

This feature works with another feature called Traffic Light Information. Using the vehicle’s 4G LTE connection, the next traffic light can be read and displayed on a screen inside the instrument panel. If it displays that the next traffic light is green, additional information is displayed to tell you the speed in which you can safely approach the traffic signal. That speed will help you get through a green light, as well as minimizing red light stops towards reducing stress upon the driver.

This technology works both ways, as the traffic light information must be read at the signals themselves. The information to transmitted back to the vehicle using the 4G LTE signal. Not only does the vehicle have the capability to receive this information, the infrastructure must be able to send the status of a traffic light to the vehicle.

This overarching technology falls under the category of Vehicle-to-Infrastructure technology. Only a few places have this technology in place, with 4,700 intersections enabled for “time-to-green” interaction with a Traffic Light Information enabled vehicle. This technology is currently enabled in these following locations: Dallas, Denver, Gainesville, Fla.; Houston, Kansas City, Kansas; Las Vegas, Los Angeles, New York City, Orlando, Fla.; Phoenix, Portland, Oregon; San Francisco, Washington, DC: and Northern Virginia. 

Several select Audi models from the 2017 model year on will have these features on board.

The benefits of this technology include not just a relief from stress on the road in trying to make green lights. As a whole, vehicle-to-infrastructure is designed to assist drivers in ensuring they are operating their vehicles safely through information provided from the road. Some vehicles are enabled to read speed limit signs, while fewer vehicles can also read traffic signs – including warning and advisory signs.

Adding Traffic Light Information and the Green Light Optimized Speed Advisory to these vehicles is an expansion of these technologies designed to inform the driver and keep him/her safe. The system does not mitigate the vehicle to slow down or stop when a red light is detected via the in-vehicle wi-fi connection.

The key for ensuring this system works are ensuring that the route you are driving is enabled for the wi-fi connection to read the traffic lights. If you live in an area that has this enabled, you will get the benefits from safe operation of your vehicle and to enable you to avoid having to stress over missing a green light on your route. Keep in mind that Audi provided a list of only 13 areas where this technology is enabled. If this is not available where you live, ask your local government to look into deploying it in your community. Otherwise, this system will not work even if you have all of the technology necessary to utilize it.

Consider this: the next time you are running late to work and trying to hit all the green lights on the way, there is a piece of technology coming that will ease your pain. If you happen to own a newer Audi – or are considering a new one – and live in one of those areas where the Traffic Light Information technology is enabled, it is now available to you.

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