Have you ever been stuck at a red light? Of course you have. We all hate it–especially if you’re the only car within a quarter mile of the intersection. Have you ever been like, “Man, this light is taking forever. When is it going to change already?” Well Audi may have the solution.
I was one of few select people to be invited to a media event to learn about its new Audi V2I (Vehicle-2-Infrastructure) system and had the pleasure to drive one of its 2017 A4’s with the technology.
Audi claims with this technology you will obtain what I will call “Relax Mode”–because right now you stare at the light hoping for it to change. If you look away, it may change and then you have the impatient guy behind you honking the horn. Your daughter in the back dropped her cup, but you tell her we are almost there. Just 10 more minutes.
That is in the past as now with Audi V2I. You will have a countdown of when the light will turn green. So now you will know you have 45 seconds to grab that cup and give to your crying child in the backseat. You have 45 seconds to eat that burrito you got for the drive into work.
Audi started developing the technology 10 years ago in 2006. The vehicles are equipped with a communication system that takes in real-time traffic signal information collected at the traffic management system operated by the RTC (Regional Transportation Commission) to communicate with Audi servers that then pass the information on to your vehicle.
Audi officials said that southern Nevada was the ideal location to launch the V2I technology because traffic lights operated in all of southern Nevada are centrally controlled and monitored from the RTC’s traffic management center. What does this mean? Audi only had to coordinate with one body of government to get the system off the ground.
There are a little over 1,300 traffic lights in Las Vegas with over 1,100 of them already active on the V2I system. Audi is currently working with about 10 other cities nationwide to deploy the V2I system. The Audi V2I technology is currently limited to the 2017 Q7, A4 and All-Road–with more V2I-equipped Audi models to come within 6 months).
This is a first step for Audi as it plans in the future to have the system display a suggested speed limit for you to maintain in order to properly pace to hit all green lights. And also in the future have the system integrated into the navigation system so that if you’re approaching a red light that will be red for another 200 seconds the V2I system can redirect you to make a right turn and a few left turns to get back on track in under 30 seconds.
It costs about $6 Million to build one lane of street for one mile. But Commission General Manager Tin Quigley suggested that money may be better spent on a “smart corridor” equipped with sensors that could help navigate driverless vehicles and smart cars through southern Nevada. Better management of traffic is a better solution than just adding more lanes and more cost for the tax payers.
Here is Audi’s official press release: audi_tli_press_release
Photos by: Joshua Brum