Audi tests Wi-Fi and 3G to reduce car fuel consumption

As part of its Travolution research project the German car maker, Audi, is using wireless technology to help drivers reduce fuel consumption in urban areas.

Having already experimented in 2006 with an adaptive computing algorithm for the control of traffic light systems, this second phase of Audi's Travolution project involves enabling traffic light systems to communicate with vehicles via WLAN and 3G.

The company said that traffic lights would transmit data that was processed into graphic form and shown on the car's driver information display screen. The data would inform the driver of the best speed so that the next traffic light changes to green before the car reaches it. This speed, which would keep the traffic flowing as smoothly as possible, could then be selected by the driver using cruise control, or have cruise control automatically adjust to this optimum speed.

The company believes that using this technology could reduce CO2 emissions by approximately 15 per cent.

A separate aspect of this second phase involves the car wirelessly making online payments. Audi has experimented with enabling a car to communicate with the stationary equipment at petrol station or parking garages. When the driver confirms the amount using his dashboard controls, it is automatically debited from the customer's account or credit card.

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