Audi is going “Green”

We’ve all experienced the hassle of driving through a busy big city – with red light after red light after red light.

How many times have you screamed out in frustration, “Why can’t they synchronize these %#*ing things,!?”

Well, here comes Audi to the rescue with a new bit of technology introduced at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. It’s called Audi Online traffic light information and the German automaker says it has the potential to save not just time and fuel, but to reduce harmful CO2 emissions.

The system can connect a car to the traffic light network via any city’s central traffic computer. It then assimilates automated traffic light sequences and, when approaching a set of lights, the Driver Information Centre will show the speed to select in order to pass through the light on a green. A visual aid for the driver uses green, amber and red icons.

The system makes good use of stop/start technology and, if the driver already is waiting at a red light, it counts down the seconds remaining before the light goes green and restarts the engine five seconds before that happens.

Audi says the system is now fully functional and all that’s needed for its employment in all of the company’s new vehicles is the necessary government approval.

The system was demonstrated in Las Vegas by an A6 sedan on the city’s expressways. Testing continues in Las Vegas, with 50 sets of traffic lights. Comprehensive testing is also taking place in the northern Italian city of Verona, with 60 traffic lights, and in Berlin, where 25 Audi drivers are able to connect to the German city’s 1,000-plus traffic lights.

The automaker says market launch of the system “is the subject of intense analysis in the United States.”

Audi estimates that the system has the potential to save 900 million litres of fuel annually in Germany alone.