Audi has announced the launch of its new vehicle-to-infrastructure platform which it said will mark a new phase in the connected cars strategy which car makers believe is the future of driving. In the more immediate term, a few of Audi's future vehicles will get to know - and inform drivers accordingly - how long they have got to wait at the red light.
The system has already been integrated in A4 models produced after June 1 and will also find its way into select 2017 Q7 models, BBC reported.
However, it's a far bigger scope that is being envisaged with the V2I system in future as enabled cars will be able to communicate with the traffic infrastructure as well as surrounding cars. This in turn will lead to the creation of a safe driving environment with cars being more aware of its surroundings than ever before.
Further, autonomous cars will know if they are approaching a red light and will cut off the gas accordingly, thereby enhancing fuel efficiency. Or another case scenario being projected is that the drivers will get to know if they can make it before the light turn red, and start decelerating accordingly.
In fact, the system is perhaps more tuned to the operation of self-driving cars as those won't have to 'see' to know if the lights are red. Instead, the right signal from the traffic zone will make the cars aware if they are approaching red lights.
Audi though has stated they are projecting its new V2I system as more of a driving aid as of now, AutoBlog claimed. As such, it is aimed to reduce the stress of the driver rather than enhancing safety.
However, proper implementation too can be challenging given the huge investment needed for upgrading the existing traffic light infrastructure. To begin with the system will only work in D.C. and Vegas that have 'smart' traffic lights as of now.
According to AutoBlog, the system that has been developed with Traffic Technology Services will only work with suitably equipped traffic lights. For the system to work, the car will be in touch with the Traffic Technology Services server with the information exchanged wirelessly via cloud.