Audi cars to talk with traffic signals in step toward autonomous vehicles

Audi A4 (Credit: Audi)

Audi announced an upcoming software update that will allow certain models of its cars in the U.S. to communicate with traffic signals.

Audi is working with Traffic Technology Services to collect data from smart city traffic infrastructure and use it to tell drivers how long they can expect to be waiting for the light to turn green. The feature will be available in the 2017 Audi Q7, A4 and A4 all-road models with Audi connect.

Audi anticipates that the service will be running in five large U.S. cities by the end of the year.


Like this story? Subscribe to FierceWireless!

The Wireless industry is an ever-changing world where big ideas come along daily. Our subscribers rely on FierceWireless as their must-read source for the latest news, analysis and data on this increasingly competitive marketplace. Sign up today to get wireless news and updates delivered to your inbox and read on the go.

LEARN: V2X is about to change driving. Find out how at the FierceTelecom Learning Center

"This feature represents Audi’s first step in vehicle-to-infrastructure integration," said Pom Malhotra, Audi’s general manager of connected vehicles, in a news release, adding that in the future the technology could also be used in vehicle navigation, start and stop functionality and for improving traffic flow.

As Audi put it, this is one of the auto manufacturer’s first moves into vehicle-to-infrastructure communication and, as of now, it’s only being used as a convenience feature. But both automakers and municipalities are likely gearing up for rapid expansion in both the connected car and smart city market sectors.

According to recent predictions from IDC, worldwide spending on autonomous cars is projected to hit $29.6 billion by 2017, and global government spending on smart driving technologies will reach $16.5 billion by 2017.

Meanwhile, U.S. wireless operators have been making strides to strengthen their positions in the connected car market as revenue streams from traditional mobile services have begun to plateau. AT&T has long been looking like a frontrunner in the consumer connected car space and has recently announced initiatives including unlimited data for its customers connected vehicles.

Verizon more recently has been pushing for a foothold in the enterprise mobility market. Earlier this month, the carrier announced it is buying Fleetmatics for $2.4 billion.

For more:
- read this Washington Post article
- read this Reuters article
- see the Audi release

Related articles:
Verizon to acquire Fleetmatics for $2.4B

Suggested Articles

Mobile edge computing (MEC) and 5G XR2 are a perfect match, according to the head of XR at Qualcomm.

There's no slowing down for Verizon's engineering team, which is working to meet the company's goal of 5G in 30 markets by the end of the year.

At its Snapdragon Summit in Maui this week, Qualcomm reiterated its belief in the power of millimeter wave for 5G and blasted some myths around it.