Audi has added a new feature to the vehicle-to-infrastructure technology embedded in its newer models that’s designed to help drivers catch every green light.
The tech, called GLOSA, or Green Light Optimized Speed Advisory, is part of the automaker’s built-in traffic light-reading technology. And Audi says it’s the first automaker to include this GLOSA feature in its cars.
It all began in 2016 when Audi launched Traffic Light Information, a system that enables the car to communicate with the infrastructure in certain cities and metropolitan areas across the United States.
It was rather limited at the time, but in principle, the car would receive information from the sensor on a traffic light (via a 4G LTE hot spot) and be able to tell the driver how long before it turned from red to green.
GLOSA builds on this by advising drivers what speed they should drive to catch a green light. The system is able to do this by combining traffic signal information and the current position of a vehicle, as well as other important data such as the distance to stop, the area’s speed limit and signal timing plans.
It then displays a speed recommendation intended to help drivers pass traffic lights on green. The end goal is to slash the number of stops at red lights and, in turn, the amount of time stuck in traffic. This helps reduce emissions and boosts fuel savings. For the average American driver, nearly 300 hours a year are spent behind the wheel, according to AAA.
Today, there are more than 4,700 intersections that support the “time to green” feature as well as this GLOSA function in 13 metro areas that include Dallas, Denver, Gainesville, Houston, Kansas City, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, New York City, Orlando, Phoenix, Portland, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. and northern Virginia.
The feature is still somewhat limited, despite the expansion to more cities. Traffic Light Information is an Audi connect PRIME feature (a paid subscription) that is only available on select 2017, 2018 and newer models.
Audi says it intends to roll out more V2I-capable features in the future and could include integration with the vehicle’s start/stop function — which would reduce emissions — optimized navigation routing and other predictive services.