Audi travolution: Car-to-Traffic Signals Communication

With the blending between the automotive and electronics markets getting stronger by the day, a time when cars will become fully autonomous is not that far out. We've all witnessed so far several systems which allow cars to automatically communicate with elements around it, including pedestrians, other cars and even road signs.

As far as Audi goes, making a car more efficient is, as they say, one of their main focuses. Aside for the research on better engines, suspensions and body work, the German carmaker is planning an alternate way to cut that dreaded fuel consumption figures.

Enter the travolution, Audi's car-to-traffic signal communication system. Currently under development and testing in Ingolstadt, travolution is meant to reduce the amount of time spent at a standstill or accelerating by communicating with the traffic signals.

Using wireless LAN and UMTS links, travolution "talks" to the traffic signs and interrogates them about the color change time.

The traffic signals transmit data, converted by the system into a graphic. The graphic shows the driver what speed to adopt so that the next traffic light changes to green before the car reaches it. Similarly, if a car is at a red traffic light, the driver is informed on how much time is left until the light turns green.

According to the data obtained so far, the driver can fuel consumption by 0.02 liters for every traffic-light stop. This in turn translates into a reduction in CO2 levels of about two million tons (equivalent to a reduction of approximately 15 percent in CO2 from motor vehicles in urban traffic).

travolution also has another neat feature: it allows to pay online when refueling or parking the car, by communicating with the pump or parking meter.

Currently, Audi is testing 15 vehicles and 25 sets sets of traffic lights in Ingolstadt.
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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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