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Audi Testing Vehicles That Talk To Traffic Signals

Outside of Disney movies, everyone knows that cars can’t talk.

Or can they?

Audi, the German car maker owned by Volkswagen, is gearing up to launch technology that will enable vehicles to communicate with traffic lights.

Audi announced that it plans to roll out the capability among select 2017 Q7 and A4 models built after June 1, 2016. The vehicles will be available in five to seven U.S. cities this year, though the German automaker would not say which cities would be first.

The vehicle-to-infrastructure technology, otherwise known as V-to-I, enables traffic signals and other infrastructure to talk to each other, sharing data wirelessly over the cloud. The idea behind the technology is to reduce the chances of crashes and alleviate some of the traffic that is common on highways and roads around the country. It would also mean drivers wouldn’t have to worry about broken traffic lights and can be alerted to an upcoming red light, which means less tickets.

“This is our foray into V-to-I,” said Pom Malhotra, general manager of Audi’s connected vehicles division in a report. “This is designed not as a safety feature but a comfort and convenience feature.” Some of the things the system will be able to do includes displaying a countdown ahead of the light turning green as well as a countdown if the car thinks it will not be able to make the light before it turns red so the driver can prepare to slow down and eventually brake. Future applications can include linking the technology to the vehicle’s navigation system to alert drivers to accidents and traffic in real time as well as link it with the stop and start functions on the vehicle. In the future it could also tell cars what speed and distance to keep to maintain the flow of traffic.

As PYMNTS’ Internet of Things Tracker has documented, automobiles are having a significant impact on the Internet of Things. The latest IoT tracker features an interview with Buick and Global OnStar about the future of connected vehicles.

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About the Tracker

The PYMNTS.com® Internet of Things Tracker, sponsored by Intel®, showcases companies that are leading the way in all aspects of the Internet of Things. Every month, the Tracker looks at what these companies are doing across the ecosystem and in six categories: Devices; Infrastructure; Payments; Security; Software; and Data.

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