For any driver who's been stuck at a stoplight wondering how much longer they'll be sitting there, Audi says it has the cure.
Starting this fall, certain 2017 models from the luxury automaker will include a feature that tells motorists how long it will be until the red light changes to green. The service will be available in five to seven cities that Audi has yet to announce.
"This feature represents Audi's first step in vehicle-to-infrastructure integration," said Pom Malhotra, the company's general manager of connected vehicles.
Traffic light information will be routed via LTE technology to 2017 Audi Q7, A4 and A4 allroad models that are equipped with the company's in-car infotainment system, Audi connect. Traffic Technology Services, an information provider for connected vehicle applications, will route the stoplight data through its servers to the vehicles.
In the future, Audi's technology could be integrated into vehicle navigation and its start/stop functionality, Malhotra said. Eventually, it could "even be used to help improve traffic flow in municipalities."
Vehicle-to-infrastructure communication is a key element in the development of autonomous and semiautonomous cars and trucks. Many in the auto industry have said self-driving cars will eventually be able to navigate through streets and highways by communicating with stop lights and street signs that will tell the vehicle when to stop, go forward, or what speed it should maintain.
"These improvements could lead to better overall efficiency and shorter commuting times," Malhotra said of Audi's technology.