(Phys.org) —The CES show in Las Vegas from January 7 to 10 provided a generous share of driver assistance technologies, where spectators were told how they can expect to interact with their cars as never before. One attention-grabber in the recent CES reports is something from German auto makers Audi called Traffic Light Assist (TLA). What if you were told your car had the ability to help you hit every green light on your journey? That could put a smile on any driver's face, and at CE testers from media sites earlier this week got to test Audi's TLA up and down the Las Vegas strip. Reports by the testers were favorable, inviting such words as "intriguing" and "slick." Simply put, Audi is shooting for a time when a driver gets in the car, starts driving, and, with the car's analysis of traffic light data, the driver will be able to know when the next light will change..
Autoblog reports that Audi set up a trial of the system in a A6 sedan around the Las Vegas Strip "and it worked pretty flawlessly for us." The system consists of an in-dash system that tells you how fast or slow you need to drive in order to make as many green lights as possible. What is interesting is that Audi's lights alert system has no need of a camera to scan for upcoming traffic lights to deliver the information. The system instead depends on local traffic light data sources, combining that data with navigation information, such that traffic-signal information and car technologies are integrated. (There is a traffic light icon appearing in the central display along with a countdown timer that reads the number of seconds before a light will change from red to green. The driver can apply that information to adjust driving speed, to help avoid having to come to a full stop.)
According to Audi, "Among the new car-to-x applications at Audi is the service Online traffic light information. It networks the car with the central traffic control computer that controls the traffic lights in the city. Targeted information appears in the display of the driver information system. It shows the driver the speed to select in order to reach the next traffic light during a green phase. The time remaining is displayed while waiting for the light to turn green."
ConsumerReports.org made note of the TLA's relevance to safe driving. "This has a potential safety implication as it can help reduce red-light running, as drivers won't get caught in a yellow-to-red changing light. Further, it is yet another step toward smarter roadways, enabled by vehicle-to-infrastructure and vehicle-to-vehicle communication."
In addition to its test demo of the traffic light technology in Las Vegas, Audi has been testing the technology in Germany and Italy, said Autoblog.