Audi launches traffic light recognition system

10 Mar, 2014 3:00pm Jonathan Burn

Revolutionary new tech for Audi could make sitting at red lights a thing of the past

Audi has revealed a new traffic light recognition system that has the potential to allow drivers to drive through city streets without the interruption of hitting red lights. A fully developed Audi A6 prototype fitted with the technology was showcased at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas last year.

The system works by harnessing the in-car Internet via Audi connect, which then creates a link between it and the local traffic light network. The automated traffic light sequence of the area is processed and relayed back to the driver, showing the speed necessary to pass through an upcoming green light.

If the driver is already waiting at a red light, Audi connect will calculate and count down the time remaining until the next green light is scheduled to appear. The system is also linked up to the car’s Start-Stop function and restarts the engine five seconds before the green light appears.

As well as a providing a more relaxed drive, the technology could also help reduce emissions by up to 15 per cent, while helping save fuel in the process. Audi has calculated if the system was to be rolled-out across Germany, almost 900 million litres of fuel could be saved per year.

The fully functional system is production ready and could be fitted to every Audi model in the range subject to the necessary government legislation.

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As if Audis ever waited for red lights... ;)

An answer to a question nobody asked.

This is already flawed because it can't predict when a pedestrian will activate a pelican crossing, meaning the light change sequence won't be automated. Some pelican crossings change the traffic lights the instant you press the button.

I want to know how the technology that keeps Audi's 3" from your rear end works.

This assumes that Audi connect knows what the traffic light sequence is supposed to be. What happens when the local authority starts altering that, as they have not exactly been unknown to do.

I suppose that in the light of the 'Internet of Things' revolution, if the information could be two way between traffic authorities and cars then that really could help congested cities. *IF* the destination and current position of every car was known then I suppose it would be feasible to manage the traffic more effectively. A bit big brother, maybe.

Combine with speed cameras for instant revenue generation (some lights around where I live are phased such that you cannot really get a run of greens while sticking to the limit).

Many local authorities alter the phase of traffic lights on different days and at different times of day, so I think this Audi would have to be very clever. I don't like to re-inforce the stereotype, but unfortunately, in my local area, a new Audi is the car of choice for many young gentlemen, and a relaxing drive is not what they're about. Racing between the lights, and carrying on through them if there's not much coming the other way is the norm, so I don't think they'd be ticking the box for this option.

In-car internet - great for tracking everybody's movements. No thanks.