District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser and Audi of America announced this month that more than 600 of the city's traffic light signals now support the carmaker's "time-to-green" feature that communicates with traffic signals through vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) technology.
For the District Department of Transportation, the new data-sharing effort "will provide real-time traffic signal information that has the potential to enhance the district's traffic safety programs while reducing congestion and optimizing traffic flow," the announcement said.
DDOT said through this partnership the district will receive information that could target specific areas for traffic safety improvements and increase the efficiency of its traffic signal network.
For drivers of Audi models equipped with the feature who approach red lights, it provides a countdown of the time remaining until the light turns green, which shows up in the instrument cluster in front of the driver or in a heads-up display. Audi said that information "helps to reduce stress and allows the driver to relax, knowing approximately how much time remains before light changes."
The mayor said the initiative "represents the kind of innovation that is critical for us to advance the traffic safety goals" of the city. "We look forward to building on this and similar partnerships as we continue to build a safer, stronger and smarter D.C."
Audi, in partnership with Traffic Technology Services, launched what it calls the 'Traffic Light Information' program in 2016 with Las Vegas, and has since added six more cities before D.C. – Dallas and Houston in Texas; San Francisco and Arcadia in California; Portland, Ore.; and Denver.
Now, it said, more than 1,600 U.S. traffic signals across the US support the technology.
Audi of America President Scott Keogh said that "not only do V2I applications and services like Traffic Light Information help to reduce driver stress, they are also essential infrastructure developments as we continue to move toward an automated future."
The announcement said future iterations of V2I technology "could include integration into the vehicle's start/stop function, optimized navigation routing and predictive services such as speed recommendation designed to maximize the number of green lights a driver can make in sequence. All of these services have a goal to help reduce congestion and enhance mobility on crowded roadways."
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