Audi has revealed a nearly production-ready version of its Audi Online traffic light recognition system, following the debut of a prototype ‘Travolution’ version in 2008.
Unveiled in its latest form at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, the new system promises to ease both the mind and the car’s impact on the environment.
The technology works by connecting with a city’s traffic control through a 4G wireless connection, allowing the car’s computer to recognise coming light changes and to prepare the driver through a series of in-dash alerts.
If the vehicle is approaching a green light, the system can determine whether there will be time enough to pass through, or if the light will switch to red before it is reached.
If the light is likely to change to red before the vehicle reaches the intersection, the system can advise the driver to begin braking sooner, preventing abrupt stops.
Likewise, if the vehicle is already stopped at a red light, the system can prepare for the change to green by priming the engine’s start-stop system for ignition five seconds beforehand.
Audi has so far tested and demonstrated the system with an A6 sedan, but an eventual production debut across the brand’s wider range could be on the cards.
The company is also testing the system in a number of cities, working with the traffic boards of Berlin, Verona and Las Vegas.
For the system to enter production, Audi will first have to achieve government approval both for access to the traffic control systems, and for the technology to be used on public roads.
For now, the project remains a prototype.