TLI-equipped Audis communicate with traffic signals enabled with data from Traffic Technology Services to count down the time until the light turns green. Drivers get a countdown timer on the dash cluster and heads-up display, if so equipped. The feature is available on select 2017 and 2018 models and is bundled with Audi Connect Prime subscriptions, which also offer services such as finding parking spaces and weather information.
While the system is still fairly limited, Audi sees it as the kernel of a much larger, future mobility and connected-vehicle strategy. It has said the technology, if widely adopted, could help the car reduce CO2 emissions and save fuel by knowing when lights will change. Other automakers and agencies are also working on connected-vehicle technologies. The Michigan Department of Transportation and 3M last year equipped a three-mile stetch of interstate outside of Detroit as a V2I test zone, while Cadillac has introduced a vehicle-to-vehicle communications system to the CT6 sedan.
Audi says future iterations could include integrating TLI with the vehicle's stop/start system and something called Green Light Optimized Speed Advisory, which is basically when the car does the math to determine the appropriate speed the vehicle will need to hit as many consecutive green lights as possible. Other perks further down the line include the ability to fine-tune navigation routes.
It most recently announced the addition of Washington, D.C., to its lineup of U.S. metropolitan areas, where it says more than 600 intersections work with the technology. In addition to Phoenix and K.C., the other cities where TLI is now offered are Las Vegas; Dallas; Houston; Palo Alto and Arcadia, Calif.; Portland, Ore.; and Denver.