Audi unveiled its latest efforts in traffic control technology at the Consumer Electronics Show in January, debuting a system it calls Traffic Light Assist (TLA). The technology is currently being tested in Europe, but Audi hopes to bring it to the U.S. in the near future.
As described by Audi, when sitting at a red light, the car would display a countdown clock on the dashboard, indicating how much time is left before the light turns green. When approaching a green light, the display will show drivers how fast they need to go in order to make the next green light.
At present, Audi is testing the system in Germany and Italy, with the intention of bringing it to large U.S. cities, such as New York and Los Angeles, eventually. The appearance of TLA in these cities anytime soon, however, is doubtful as both are already in the process of upgrading their traffic light infrastructure.
Other large U.S. cities, however—such as Topeka, Kan.—may be a better fit for TLA. Topeka already has smart traffic signals that can adjust their timing based on current traffic conditions. Drivers have expressed frustration with the system, however, as they feel it makes the lights more unpredictable. At the same time, city officials acknowledged that the cost of the technology needs to come down, and standards and hardware specifications need to be finalized, before they can pursue implementation.