This week Audi has been demonstrating its Travolution technology on a fleet of test vehicles near its headquarters in Ingolstadt, Germany. The Travolution package actually incorporates a number of different technologies, including vehicle-to-vehicle, vehicle-to-infrastructure communications and SmartACC. The vehicle-to-infrastructure component allows vehicles to communicate with traffic signals over a combination of WiFi and 3G mobile. The signals send out timing information to cars that then provide messages to drivers to help them optimize their driving so that they don't have to stop as often.
Two of the 15 test cars are also equipped with a smart adaptive cruise control system which uses the signal timing information to manage the vehicle speed automatically. Over 150 traffic lights in Ingolstadt have now been integrated into the test systems that include the communications and an automatic learning algorithm that monitors traffic flow and adjusts the signal timing. Before the test program started, cars had to stop, on average, at every fourth traffic signal. This number has now been increased to every fifth light and the vehicles in the test have reduced fuel consumption by 17 percent.