Auto Tech

Your next Audi might be talking to traffic lights

Audi is rolling out its vehicle-to-infrastructure service in select cities later this year.

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In Audi's dystopian future, the whole world will be devoid of color whilst our vehicles and buildings talk to one another via concentric colored rings. Sounds neat, unless you don't want a white car.

Audi

There's no guaranteed method to figure out when a traffic light will turn from red to green, as not every crosswalk has a countdown timer attached to it. Audi is planning on solving that problem (it was a problem?) with a limited rollout of its first vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) service later this year.

The rollout will only take place in select cities that are capable of working with this kind of service. When your Audi rolls up to a red light, it will communicate with that light and display the time remaining until green, in either your head-up display or your gauge cluster. The display will disappear a few seconds before the countdown reaches zero, Forbes reports, so drivers can resume paying attention to the intersection.

Audi's V2I service will be available on a small lineup of vehicles, including the 2017 A4, A4 Allroad and Q7. The system won't be standard equipment. It requires use of the car's built-in 4G LTE connection, so it will only be available with the top-tier infotainment system, Connect Prime. Traffic Technology Services, Inc. will manage the "talking" between cars and infrastructure.

Following this early introduction, Audi hopes to expand this service to other cities in the coming years. V2I will eventually expand, as well. Audi envisions a world where this sort of communication is built into the navigation system, which, when combined with auto stop-start technology, could reduce commutes and increase efficiency.

Personally, I'm excited for a V2I system that detects potholes while relaying that information to construction crews and other cars for future avoidance. That'll be peak geek-out for me, mostly because Michigan is approximately 90 percent potholes by volume.

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