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Audi's Traffic Light Information Technology

4 min read

Audi's new technology referred to as "Traffic Light Information" is revolutionizing the car driving experience. The technology enables vehicles to communicate with traffic light infrastructure in metropolitan areas and will alert drivers when an upcoming light is going to turn green or red. The Traffic Light Information network projects a reduction in fuel consumption by 15%, increases road safety and boosts efficiency.

by Amie-Lynn Mitchell, Content Creator in
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Audi TLI Technology

Audi has been dipping their toes into the world of V2I (Vehicle-to-infrastructure) technologies for more than a decade, with hopes of creating advanced and more passenger-engaged vehicles. Vehicle-to-infrastructure technology can be described as a communication system that enables vehicles to exchange data with the components that support roadway systems. Audi is the first automotive manufacturer to network and links its vehicle models with traffic lights. The company’s latest technology, Traffic Light Information, is offered in most of its vehicles that are on the market today. This system excites the modern driver as arriving five minutes before the scheduled time is every commuter’s dream.

This article will discover this significant technological breakthrough, how it makes driving more informed, safe and efficient, and how it helps drivers beat stress and traffic frustrations.

What is it?

The company launched its “Traffic Light Information” system in collaboration with Traffic Technology Services in 2016. The technology enables the cars to communicate with the infrastructure in metropolitan areas and cities through a subscription to Audi-connect® PRIME. While the automaker launched this technology in 2016, the service was limited to a few places like Oregon and Portland but began to modernize the traffic networks as internet-equipped devices became more common.

This technology began to be explored in the mid-2000s when engineers started looking into methods of creating a communications channel that could be used to inform automated driving and manage traffic flow. The engineers worked with the city of Ingolstadt, Germany, Audi’s hometown, using dedicated short-range communication (DSRC), a direct wireless channel, to set up six traffic signals to relay information to and from two vehicles on the pilot program. Thanks to their dedication, Traffic Light Information Network evolved.

Audi realized from these trials that Traffic Light Information helped decrease fuel consumption by 17% and reduced the time spent on traffic by 21%. They found that this causes traffic stress to reduce and in turn has made driving more convenient and safe.

How It Works

When a TLI system vehicle is on the road, its cellular radio downloads real-time updates on the traffic lights in the area supplied by the traffic control centers that monitor traffic lights via the on-board 4G LTE data connection. The car's GPS will then tell where the vehicle is in relation to this information. The vehicle's instrument cluster will then instruct the driver when a connected traffic light is along the car's direct route on how fast to drive to ride the green wave of lights from one place to the next.

When red, the TLI system will display the time remaining until it changes to green. This time-to-green information will help reduce stress by knowing what time is left for the light to turn red again.

While sometimes a red light may be unavoidable, the technology can still note this and notify the driver of the incoming stop. However, it will remove the unknown waiting time from the driving experience by counting down the remaining time before the signal turns green.

In simple terms, this new car tech uses Green Light Optimized Speed Advisory (GLOSA)and “Time-to-Green functionalities to offer recommended driving speeds that will limit the number of red light hits.

Tomorrow's technologies enhance TLI with faster signals and more information. These technologies include a 5G- powered cellular vehicle to everything (C-V2X) that can instantly send messages to and from worksites, schools, and other vehicles. This new tech will increase drivers' confidence on the road by providing warning signs or even having the car take autonomous actions when it senses an impending danger. This means safety for drivers while using the roads.

The vehicle to everything and vehicle to infrastructure can help empower future drivers and future power vehicles about everything happening outside the car, keeping drivers informed all the time. These technologies offer peace of mind because the driver assistance feature notifies the driver of impending hazardous situations and provides necessary information.

Driver Benefits

Audi aims to increase traffic awareness, improve drivers' convenience and promote efficient driving with improved driving behaviours. All this becomes possible thanks to Traffic Light Information Network. The most important part of this offering is the real-time updates. The TLI system allows the driver to connect to the city when driving. The car’s Traffic Light Information network projects a reduction in fuel consumption by 15%, increases road safety and boosts efficiency.

The following are the benefits of this new tech for drivers.

Ideal Speed
The TLI system consists of two functionalities: Time-to-Green and Green Light Optimized Speed Advisory. When the system recognizes green light in the area, GLOSA will calculate the required speed for getting a green wave, with the proper speed being within the applicable speed limit.

This improves road safety as drivers will not have to accelerate unnecessarily because they will not be stressed. On the other hand, GLOSA may also suggest a gradual speed reduction of 250 metres ahead of the red light. This allows the driver to reach the intersection when the sign is green. This will reduce fuel consumption by reducing uneconomic stop-and-go traffic, the main contributor to fuel consumption.

Reduces Fuel Consumption by 15%
The time to green function is handy when the red light is unavoidable. When it recognizes red light in the area, the system will display a countdown with time remaining until the light turns red. This way, drivers can save fuel by relaxing and taking their foot off the gas pedal. According to studies, the networked traffic lights have helped many drivers move through the cities efficiently. Cars with this technology lowered fuel consumption by 15% in a pilot study.

Precise Predictions
Audi’s new tech has increased traffic safety, improved convenience for drivers, and encouraged an economical style of living. It has precisely predicted how traffic lights will behave in the next few minutes. However, coming up with these exact forecasts is a challenge. This is because most signals react differently to traffic volumes and, therefore, the intervals at which the green and red lights switch.

Reduces Overall Travel Time
Staying in traffic for hours may be stressful and frustrating. The thought of not making it on time for your appointments is not something anyone may want to experience. Drivers connected to this feature have the opportunity to reduce the time spent on the road. Additionally, this new car tech help reduces stress behind the wheel due to repeated stop-and-go traffic. The network also reduces the stress associated with vehicle fuel consumption, saving money.

One thing that is sure is that evolution is not stopping here. Wireless vehicle communication protocols like vehicle to infrastructure will evolve with connected vehicles providing helpful information for cars equipped with automated driving technology. Partnerships between local government agencies and automakers like Audi with programs like TLI service are giving consumers a taste of the rapidly approaching future in automated driving while at the same time modernizing aging traffic infrastructure.

Audi's Traffic Light Information Technology

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