Audi cars will be able to communicate with traffic lights as a way to improve the self-driving features of the cars. Image Source: Computer World

Audi announced this Monday that starting later this year, their vehicles will come with vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) technology.

The V2I communication technology will allow exchanging of data wirelessly from infrastructures to the vehicles, such as traffic lights. The vehicles will come with a timer on the dashboard in order to have the driver informed of when the light is going to change.

The company will start to provide the traffic light information feature later this year in selected cities across the U.S. The automobile manufacturer said that the traffic light information system is the first of many features to be integrated into V2I technology.

The traffic light information system will come on select 2017 Audi Q7 and A4 models with Audi Connect.

How will the traffic light information system work?

The Audi cars will use Wi-Fi connection, like those the company began offering this year, to link to servers of Traffic Technology Services Inc.

While waiting on a red light, the driver information system will show the time until the traffic light turns to green.

The cities are deploying the technology needed for the system to work as part of the DOT’s national Connected Vehicle Pilot program, meaning that the Department of Transportation will not have to provide internet connection to all of the traffic lights across the country.

Getting closer to a fully autonomous car

The development of the V2I technology has been a priority research program of the Intelligent Transportation Systems Office at the Department of Transportation, as they search to avoid as much vehicle accidents as possible.

The DOT have more than ten years researching the connected vehicle technology, which allows communication between vehicles, infrastructure, and mobiles. The technology comes in a moment when cars that drive by themselves are already in the streets, making a fully autonomous car more real as time passes.

Tesla already has their own cars with an autopilot feature that allows the driver to let the car drive by itself while on a highway.

Although this is a great advancement in automobile technology, it is not yet perfect.

Various accidents have occurred involving Tesla cars using the automobile system at the moment of the crash, making the people have their doubts about the safety of using this new technology.

This history of accidents with self-driving cars may drive people skeptical about using the new technology provided in the upcoming vehicles, even if this new traffic information feature will not have the car drive on its own.

Source: Computer World