Audi announced Washington, D.C., as the seventh U.S. metropolitan area for the rollout of its Traffic Light Information (TLI) system. When a driver in a TLI-equipped Audi stops at a red light, the vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) technology pulls stoplight data from Traffic Technology Services servers to let the driver know when the light will turn green. A countdown timer appears in the dash cluster, and in the heads-up display if the vehicle has one. More than 600 D.C. intersections work with TLI.

Presently the only thing TLI can do is provide the time-to-green display, but Audi has much larger plans. The showcase element in the first prototype system showed in 2014 was Green Light Optimized Speed Advisory (GLOSA), which performed the opposite trick. GLOSA communicated with infrastructure to figure out the appropriate speed needed to hit as many consecutive green lights as possible. When a driver did inevitably hit a red light, the TLI would count down to green, and it would manage the vehicle's stop-start system, firing up the engine five seconds before the green. We're still a few years away from that.

Ultimately, though, Audi envisions tying such V2I developments into the navigation system to aid traffic flow. The company said widespread, consistent use in Germany alone would cut that country's carbon dioxide emissions by 15 percent and save 238 millions gallons of fuel per year.

After enabling TLI in Las Vegas in 2016, Audi and Traffic Technology Services have added Dallas and Houston, Palo Alto and Arcadia, Calif., Portland, Ore., and Denver. Including the nation's capital, 1,600 intersections will provide information to vehicles. BMW offers similar tech called EnLighten, but it's an app that only works when a driver connects an iPhone to the iDrive system. Audi's TLI works strictly through the vehicle, bundled into Audi Connect Prime subscriptions.


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