Audi Cars Now Chat with Washington D.C. Traffic Lights

If you own an Audi and are living in or just passing through the capital of the United States, then there’s a good chance you won’t be surprised by a traffic light turning green out of the blue.
Audi TLI now available in Washington D.C. 9 photos
Photo: Audi
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Starting this month, more than 600 intersections in Washington D.C. will support the German carmaker’s Traffic Light Information feature. It is a massive expansion of the service, accounting for roughly 60 percent of the existing connected intersections Audi had until now.

“This initiative represents the kind of innovation that is critical for us to advance the traffic safety goals of Vision Zero,” said the city’s mayor, Muriel Bowser.

“We look forward to building on this, and similar partnerships, as we continue to build a safer, stronger, and smarter D.C.”

Aside from the addition of D.C. to the service, Audi offers Traffic Light Information in Dallas, Houston, Palo Alto, Arcadia, Portland, and Denver. In all, now there are 1,600 city lights that can communicate with Audi vehicles.

But what do they communicate? Part of the connect suite available on select 2017 and 2018 models, Traffic Light Information (TLI) allows car to receive a single set of data when approaching a connected intersection.

Cars receive real-time signal information from the traffic management system that monitors traffic lights via the onboard 4G LTE data connection. When the light is red, the TLI feature will display the time remaining until the signal changes to green in the instrument cluster in front of the driver, or the head-up display, depending on the model.

For now, this time-to-green countdown is the only feature available, and a pretty dumb one, considering the fact that here and there around the world traffic lights themselves are equipped with counters showing exactly that. What is important however is what the TLI can do in the future.

According to Audi, work is underway to allow TLI to integrate the start/stop function, meaning the engine would ignite as soon as the traffic light tells it too. Further research might also integrate navigation for better routing.
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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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