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Audi traffic light monitoring system can improve vehicle efficiency

Tue 11 March 2014 | Back to news list

German car manufacturer Audi has developed a new online information system which it says could save up to 900 million litres of fuel and reduce a vehicle's CO2 emissions by up to 15%. The system works by anticipating changes in traffic lights and could be particularly applicable to urban driving.

The system, which was demonstrated in an Audi A6 as part of a technology display at the Consumer Electronics Show in January in Las Vegas, uses in-car internet in a new way by leveraging the 'Audi connect' system to establish a link between the car and upcoming traffic lights.

The system is able to work out the timing pattern of traffic lights, mapping those to an information system in the central instrument cluster that shows a virtual traffic light. When the driver is stopped at a red light the system calculates the time left before it turns green and sets a timer for the driver on the display in the dashboard. The system also interacts with the start-stop technology in the car to have the engine on and ready to go 5-seconds before the light turns green. 

As well as regulating the vehicle's speed between traffic light sets, the system also alerts drivers when a police car or other emergency services vehicle is in the vicinity and requires right of way. Thanks to a connection with other cars on the road, the system can provide a driver with live updates regarding road conditions, be it congestion or meteorological problems such as ice on the road surface.

Audi says that if the technology is signed off by regulators, it could be installed in all of its new cars now.

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