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Audi has claimed it is the first vehicle manufacturer to connect its cars to city infrastructure, allowing drivers to dodge red lights, though other manufacturers are planning to trial similar technology.
From now on, in Las Vegas, Audi A4 and Q7 models produced since June 2016 and fitted with the Audi Connect media system are able to display traffic light phases.
The system is planned to be introduced in Europe too.
Drivers will be will be able to see whether they will reach lights when they are green via a heads-up display, and if they are not able to make a green light, the time remaining until the next green light will appear, allowing them to slow down in advance in order to miss red lights.
According to Audi, the tool will save drivers time and also will also reduce the environmental impact of motorists sitting at red lights.
Audi said that in tests the number of cars that had to stop for lights fell by 20%, with these motorists making fuel savings of around 15% in the process.
"For the first time, our cars are exchanging data with traffic infrastructure in real time. Drivers can adapt their behaviour to the situation and move through city traffic in a much more relaxed and controlled way," said Andreas Reich, head of electronics pre-development at Audi. "We increase energy efficiency when we connect our Audi models to smart cities. Further V2I [vehicle to infrastructure] services will follow, making the car into an interactive mobile device. We see autonomous driving as the end of this development."
In October, Ford announced it would trial similar technology over the next two years on both public and closed roads in Milton Keynes and Coventry.