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Audi future cars to communicate with traffic lights

Snapshot: The whole idea is to show the countdown for green and red lights, so that the drivers can prepare their actions in advance.

With the growing intrusion of technology in the modern day vehicles, people are getting skeptical about its usage to such a vast extent. With the growing concern, auto manufacturers are using technology to make the cars safer and safer, and hence justify the technology intrusion. One such manufacturer is Audi who is using the technology to make the world a safer place.

Apart from the various other safety provisions in their vehicles, Audi is now all-set to add a device that can talk to the traffic lights. Yes, the communication with the traffic light is pretty much possible by the Audi's "V-to-I" device, or Vehicle to Infrastructure system in simple terms. The technology is made possible by Audi of America and will roll out the select 2017 Audi Q7 and A4 equipped with this system from 1 June 2016 onwards.

So what does this traffic communication device do? Well, the Volkswagen group Audi says that the device will show the countdown to signals turning green – and warn when it’s too late to beat a red light. “This is our foray into V-to-I,” said Pom Malhotra, general manager of Audi’s connected vehicles division. “This is designed not as a safety feature but a comfort and convenience feature.”

To make the car safer, the display will disappear a few seconds before the light is turned green. This way, the driver can pay more attention to the intersection, said Malhotra. Going forward, the device will be integrated to the car’s navigation system and its stop/start functions. The traffic signals will advise a vehicle to maintain a certain speed in order to match the flow of lights, executives said.

This "V-to-I" technology is seen as a major step forward to the "V-to-V" system, or vehicle to vehicle system, that allows cars to communicate with each other. With a connected network of cars with each other and with infrastructure too, the world will be a safer place, and there will be reduced traffic congestion, along with increased automation.

This will also help the driverless car technology or self driving car technology evolve more rapidly, which Audi is already working on. The German manufacturer is planning to roll out the technology in five to seven US cities initially in 2016, with more cities to follow the path soon. The company would not disclose the list of the cities.

Having said that, it will not be easy to process the whole system as various parties are involved. Infrastructure depends on civic bodies and government, while the intra-vehicle communication depends on different car OEMs and transportation industries. We are hopeful that this new technology will help the cause of safer roads.

You can know more about road safety here!

Also know about the Audi autonomous vehicle in detail here!

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