New Audi cars know just how long that red light will last

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A few Audi cars are about to get a lot smarter about traffic lights with the addition of a vehicle to infrastructure system. This means Audi cars will be able to talk to a city’s infrastructure to get information about traffic lights.

Although the technology has been around for years, Audi is the first automaker to market with a vehicle to infrastructure system integrated into the car. Previously, apps like EnLighten allowed users to get accurate traffic light countdowns by communicating with connected traffic signals in select cities.

“In the future we could envision this technology integrated into vehicle navigation, start / stop functionality and can even be used to help improve traffic flow in municipalities,” said Pom Malhotra, Audi America General Manager, Connected Vehicles. “These improvements could lead to better overall efficiency and shorter commuting times.”

Real-time traffic light information will be sent to Audi vehicles via on-board LTE connection, so you won’t need your smartphone to be connected for it to work. Drivers will see a countdown on their instrument cluster or heads up display.

You’ll have to pay for Audi’s Connect Prime data subscription for the service to work, which is a bummer as it’s another subscription service you have to purchase. The service costs $199 for 6 months or $750 for 30 months.

Limited availability, for now

Traffic light information will eventually integrate with Audi’s navigation system, allowing the car to calculate the fastest route with traffic signal data. The system will also provide data to cities to help decrease congestion.

This would allow your car to tell you the optimal speed you need to maintain to hit every green light on a specific stretch of road. The system could also potentially warn drivers of power outages affecting certain intersections.

Audi Q7
Photo credit: Audi

Only a few 2017 model-year Audi vehicles will be getting this vehicle to infrastructure system, including Audi Q7, A4 and A4 allroad models built after June 1st, 2016. Audi doesn’t specify when other vehicles in its lineup will receive the system.

Hopefully other carmakers will follow suit in offering vehicle to infrastructure systems to allow our future cars to become even smarter.

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