Car Tech

Vegas Audi Drivers No Longer Have to Bet on When Traffic Lights Will Go Green

Audi has become the first automaker to introduce vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) technology in the U.S. with the launch of a select few A4, Allroad and Q7 models.

We say a select few because the cars so-equipped are being sold in Las Vegas, Nevada, which Audi cites as the first city to install "smart" traffic signals that can talk to cars.

Traffic Light Information is a feature of the Audi Connect Prime system, an upgraded version of the brand's infotainment suite and lets 2017 models of those three cars communicate with traffic lights in any U.S. city that installs V2I traffic signals.

V2I uses the car's LTE data connection to "talk" to a traffic light when approaching the intersection. For now, all the car will be able to tell the driver is how long they'll have to wait until the light turns green, which Audi says will help reduce the driver's stress level. We get it: red lights annoy us, too.

For its part, the City of Las Vegas says its decision to begin installing V2I-ready traffic lights is part of an effort to try to reduce traffic congestion on its famous Strip.

Ultimately, Audi says it may be able to use V2I information to tell the engine auto-stop feature whether it's worth shutting the engine down as the car approaches a red light, and could also be used by navigation systems to choose a route with the fewest possible stops. Our favourite possible use, though, is the one that recommends an optimal speed that will let the driver hit as many green lights in one sequence as possible.