Las Vegas, a leader in smart city technology, is the first city to connect the traffic signal network to vehicles. Photo courtesy of Audi.

Las Vegas, a leader in smart city technology, is the first city to connect the traffic signal network to vehicles. Photo courtesy of Audi.

Audi is introducing vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) technology in the U.S. this month, starting with select 2017-model year Audi A4, Q7, and A4 Allroad models in Las Vegas.

Thanks to the Audi connect Prime feature known as Traffic Light Information, these vehicles can communicate with the infrastructure in certain cities and metropolitan areas across the U.S. The cars are able to receive real-time signal information from the advanced traffic management system that monitors traffic lights via the on-board 4G LTE data connection.

“V2I applications and services like Traffic Light Information are essential components as we continue to move toward an autonomous future,” said Audi of America President Scott Keogh. “We applaud the innovative approach of Las Vegas in working with us on V2I as well as on our various piloted driving demonstrations over the past years.”

When approaching a connected traffic light, Traffic Light Information displays the time remaining until the signal changes to green. This information is shown in the driver instrument cluster as well as the head-up display (if equipped). The feature helps reduce stress by letting the driver know approximately how much time remains before the light changes.

This “time-to-green” feature will be the first to use the Audi Traffic Light Information service. In the future, it may be possible to integrate information from these advanced traffic management systems into vehicle start/stop features and navigation systems to optimize routing. Also possible, according to Audi, may be predictive services such as presenting the driver with a speed recommendation designed to maximize the number of green lights he or she can make in sequence. All of these services would be designed to either improve efficiency, drive time, or traffic management.

Traffic Light Information will first launch this month in Las Vegas and will be available to customers with select Audi A4, Q7, and A4 Allroad models (manufactured after June 1, 2016) equipped with an active Audi connect Prime subscription. Continued expansion to additional cities across the U.S. is ongoing as the automaker works with municipalities to prepare their infrastructure for V2I connectivity. Audi has partnered with Traffic Technology Services (TTS) to facilitate the transfer of traffic light data to Audi vehicles.

In the future, smart cities will be able to use this technology to better understand traffic patterns and manage traffic signal behavior to reduce congestion and improve traffic flow. 

“The Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada (RTC) is proud to be the first in the nation to connect our traffic signal network to vehicles through our collaboration with Audi,” said Tina Quigley, RTC general manager. “This vehicle-to-infrastructure technology will help reduce congestion and enhance mobility on our already crowded roadways.”

Nevada issued autonomous vehicle licenses for Audi to drive from California to Las Vegas three years ago, and now Las Vegas is the first city to go live with V2I integration.