In Audi’s next step to creating a fully connected car, they adding a traffic light countdown to its dashboard with the intention of informing the driver the remaining time on a red light. By leveraging the local traffic authorities’ data, Audi will receive and deliver second-to-second data to inform the driver how much time they have to
“By no means do we encourage use of smartphones behind the wheel, but if there’s a time to do it, it’s when you’re stopped,” said Pom Malhotra, general manager of connected vehicles for Audi. “If you just think about the number of intersections that you pass through, and you think about the accumulated anxiety, accumulated stress that happens because of these, it’s information like this that allows your mind to relax and basically, say, ‘All right. I have some time here. I can be doing other things instead of readying myself to jump on the accelerator.'”
The luxury car manufacturer announced at a press event last week that that US drivers in a brand new Q7, A4, or Allroad will start seeing these timers by the end of 2016. They expect to release the feature in seven cities and plan to make it available half of the equipped Audi vehicles by the end of 2017. Of course the feature will be limited to subscribers of Audi’s Connect package, which currently starts at US$25/month which also includes core safety, navigation, and infotainment services.
Audio has been testing the system in Palo Alto, Las Vegas, and Washington, DC for the last year which caused them to introduce safety stop-gaps: The timer will remain hidden until the car is a certain distance from the intersection to prevent the driver from speeding through the intersection to beat the light. Also the timer will disappear about four seconds before the light turns green to discourage racing.
Once this kind of data is available, it is easy to see how navigation can be optimized, providing not only the fastest route, but also the most relaxing, with a never-ended streak of green lights.