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Audi wants to make red lights history

Audi's vehicle-to-infrastructure network trial could be a look into the future of semi-autonomous driving.

Audi is set to trial ‘vehicle-to-infrastructure’ network communications in its hometown of Ingolstadt, Germany.

The company says the connectivity technology will be built in to its vehicles produced from mid-July and has made good on that with the updated A4 range unveiled today.

The system is capable of communicating with traffic light systems for accurate timing on what stage of the cycle they are up to. It then communicates this information to the driver by informing them of the time to red at the next intersection and offering a recommended speed (within legal limits) for achieving a ‘green streak’.

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Audi envisions that when enough traffic light systems use the connectivity, built-in navigation systems will be able to adjust on the fly to increase the chances of a green streak, or at least make it easier to re-route around potential traffic jams in advance.

The technology could also be applied to active cruise control systems to more intuitively brake when a red light is approaching.

The system flows both ways, allowing traffic light systems to ‘know’ when it is safe to turn green, regardless of what stage they are at in their cycle. This could minimise the amount of time waiting at lights when there is no cross-traffic or pedestrians crossing.

Audi has been trialling this system for some years in select locations throughout the USA and says it has made drivers “more relaxed.” The company says the technology is a must for the further development of autonomous vehicles in cities.

Audi plans to roll the technology out from Ingolstadt to the rest of Europe from 2020, and from there to other nations like Canada. No word on Australia for now.

Do you think Audi’s vehicle-to-infrastructure tech would make for a more relaxed commute? Share your thoughts in the comments below.