Audi announced that its expanding its ability to tie into traffic lights to 9 new cities in addition to Las Vegas. Drivers get a visual countdown to when the traffic light turns green using a real time signal over a 4G connection. The technology will be up and running in more than 2,250 intersections in cities including Phoenix; Kansas City, KS.; Dallas; Houston; Palo Alto and Arcadia, CA, Portland, OR; Denver; and Washington, DC as well as Las Vegas.
Audi said it hopes to incorporate the technology into its navigation routing system and to integrate it into the car’s stop start function.
By the way, Cadillac has also demonstrated similar traffic light technology in tests in Michigan over the past year using WiFi (or a dedicated slice of WiFi spectrum called DSRC, Dedicated Short Range Communications Protocol).
Audi, in addition to pushing traffic light tie-ins, is also tying the radio into toll payments via a Gentex mirror, that will eventually be sold through the aftermarket. VOXX is the Gentex distributor for the aftermarket.
Audi’s news was one of several announcements this past week on new tie-in features to cars.
Volvo announced its Sensus infotainment systems will incorporate Android P and allow direct downloads of Google Play apps to the dashboard, although it appears the actual release of this feature may be two years away.
Volkswagen announced a new Curfew Alert that alerts parents if the car leaves the driveway after a specific time. Another new feature from VW is Parking Information that helps drivers locate the nearest parking garage. If you select a particular garage, it shows pricing and hours of operation. These fall under VW’s Car-Net app that already includes remote door lock/unlock, fuel level checks and more. VW owners get a free trial of Car-Net for 6 months and then pay $199 a year.
The inclusion of 4G in new cars is helping to fuel infotainment tie-ins or what is now known as the Connected Car.
Last month Ford announced that it will embed 4G in all its vehicles by 2020.