While we're waiting for certain German scientists to perfect adaptive traffic lights, other German scientists at Audi came up with traffic light networking which tells you exactly how much speed you need for an endless green wave.
They were only demoing a prototype at CES, but since the Smart City Traffic Light Assistance system is integrated into Audi connect and MMI, it will be compatible with every new Audi model.
Instead of scanning upcoming stop lights, Audi's system relies on local data sent to the car via Wi-Fi about patterns and timing. The car then shows the driver the speed to select in order to pass through the light during a green phase, with the help of red, amber or green icons.
If you missed the green somehow and find yourself at a red light, Audi connect will calculate and count down the time remaining until the next green light for the ultimate drag racing experience. It will also work together with the Start-Stop function to ensure the engine is switched on five seconds before the green phase.
Audi says this can cut emissions by 15% and save about 900 million liters of fuel annually in Germany alone. But when will you see it in your car? Soon, they've been busy:
The fully functional system is now production ready and could be fitted to every Audi model in the range subject to the necessary government legislation. It was actively demonstrated recently on the busy Las Vegas freeways in an Audi A6 Saloon as part of a trailblazing technology display at the Consumer Electronics Show, and comprehensive testing continues in Las Vegas with 50 sets of traffic lights. Testing is also underway in the northern Italian city of Verona, where some 60 traffic lights covering almost the entire city centre are involved, and in Berlin, where 25 Audi customers are driving cars fitted with Online traffic information that can link up to a total of 1,000 traffic lights in the city. A market launch is currently the subject of intense analysis in the United States.