Traffic control: Audi now lets cars talk to traffic lights


Audi now lets cars talk to traffic lights

Traffic control: Audi now lets cars talk to traffic lights-control

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Travolution in Ingolstadt: The car is approaching a red light. The assistance system receives data from the mast of the traffic signal and uses this to calculate the speed at which the car is moving caught a ‘green wave’. The best speed (35) is shown on the left.

Source: Audi

Traffic control: Audi now lets cars talk to traffic lights-audi

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With the cruise control function adaptive cruise control (ACC) on board, the car receives the best time to change gear from the traffic light system via Travolution (left: smartACC ready).

Source: Audi

Traffic control: Audi now lets cars talk to traffic lights-traffic

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The assistant warns the driver before he drives over a red light. A red light appears in the display.

Source: Audi

Traffic control: Audi now lets cars talk to traffic lights-audi

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With Travolution it should also be possible in the future to pay parking fees or…

Source: Audi

Traffic control: Audi now lets cars talk to traffic lights-audi

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Pay bills conveniently online at the petrol station.

Source: Audi

The Travolution project in Ingolstadt provides a glimpse of tomorrow’s car traffic: red lights are a thing of the past, and people pay online when refueling.

E.There are days when all traffic lights seem to unite against the driver and every red phase is involuntarily "carried away". As part of the Travolution project, Audi has now networked traffic lights and vehicles in a field test in Ingolstadt. The systems send information about the duration of the red phase via WLAN and UMTS, and the control unit in the vehicle uses this to calculate the optimal speed when approaching the traffic light, at which you do not have to stop at the traffic light.

With this so-called car-to-x communication, not only could the flow of traffic be controlled more intelligently, but CO2 emissions could also be significantly reduced. Because when a car stops at a red light, it consumes five grams of CO2 when it starts off. Extrapolated to the approximately 60,000 systems in this country, that makes up 15 million tons of CO2 alone, around 20 percent of the total emissions.

For the driver, the data package from the traffic light system appears as a display on the on-board computer. A symbol indicates that the vehicle is connected to the system, an arrow symbol shows which lane has been recognized by the system and another icon contains the recommended speed to be able to pass the traffic light when it is green. If you come to a stop on red despite this intelligent green wave, the remaining red time is displayed in the on-board computer. For Audi developer Cornelius Menig, this second countdown also has an important psychological component, as it is supposed to reduce stress and frustration. At the same time, you would be better prepared for moving off – a small but important stimulus for attention in daily rush hour traffic.

Audi currently has 15 test vehicles in use for Travolution. Two of them have the adaptive cruise control (ACC) cruise control function on board, which receives the best switching time from the traffic light system through the data transfer from Travolution (smartACC system). 25 traffic lights have already been integrated into the evolutionary model project that Audi initiated in 2006 together with cooperation partners such as the Technical University of Munich. 27 more are in preparation. You are mainly on the Ringstrasse, the neuralgic traffic artery of Ingolstadt.

Almost 300,000 red offenders are registered in Germany every year. Annoying behavior with often tragic consequences, because the statistics count around 100 deaths – mostly pedestrians – for 7,500 accidents. That is why Audi has equipped two test vehicles with an assistant to avoid red light violations. It also warns a driver trying to enter an intersection. The warning occurs in two stages. First a red light in the display together with a warning tone. Anyone who does not react then experiences a brief warning jolt from the system.

In addition to these concepts for more efficient traffic control, the Travolution project also offers a few other measures of the future: the possibility of paying online when refueling and parking. The fee can be automatically debited from the credit or customer card, for example, after confirmation by the on-board system.

The Travolution mobility concept could well catch on. In addition to neighboring countries such as the Netherlands, the long-suffering transport hub Frankfurt has already expressed interest in the Audi concept.

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