Audi Traffic Light Recognition System Hopes to Save Fuel
March 11, 2014 9:54 AM
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System uses in car internet to connect with traffic lights
My hometown had traffic lights on the main street with a little sign indicating that if went 40 mph and caught the first light green, you would likely make it down the entire street without stopping at another light. It was a grand design that was likely tossed in an effort to increase revenue by issuing more tickets for running red lights.
Audi has announced new technology that is a high tech version of that sign. The system is called Audi Traffic Light Recognition and the carmaker figures that the system could save millions of gallons of fuel.
The system uses in-car internet in a new way by leveraging Audi connect to establish a link between the car and the traffic light. The system is able to figure out the timing pattern of traffic lights (and the traffic lights in the vicinity) and maps those to an information system in the central instrument cluster that shows a virtual traffic light.
When the driver is stopped at a red light the Audi system calculates the time left before the light turns green and sets a timer for the driver on the display in the dash. The system also interacts with the
in the car to have the engine on and ready to go 5-seconds before the light turns green.
In addition to saving fuel, Audi also thinks the system can reduce CO2 emissions by 15%.
Audi and the city of Las Vegas are working together on the trial of the system with 50 sets of traffic lights supported. Testing is also underway in Verona, Italy.
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RE: Synchronnized lights
3/11/2014 2:21:21 PM
It really works best on one-way streets since there is no left-turn phase. I went to college in a city that had mostly one-way streets and if you went the speed limit, you might only have to stop once to get in sync. Also, if you were hitting the lights on the early green you could avoid having to stop after a turn by accelerating swiftly through the first block. It was actually faster to get to the shopping areas on the other side of town by going through the city rather than taking the bypass. You could also tell exactly when a light was going to change to yellow because the "Don't Walk" signal would flash exactly 15 times.
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