It is one of the rare satisfactions of peak-hour driving: a reprieve from the gridlock as a run of traffic lights flash green.
Soon your car could emulate those dreamy stretches every day of the week, intuitively avoiding red lights and bringing a halt to stop-start city driving.
Car makers are racing to offer systems which calculate the amount of time before an upcoming set of traffic lights turn red, signalling to the driver the ideal speed needed to navigate roads and intersections in one constant movement.
Audi in Germany has pioneered the technology, joining forces with Berlin authorities in a trial which taps into the city’s central traffic management system.
”The car is linked wirelessly to the central computer of the city of Berlin, and every second we get a ping from the computer which lets us know about the status flow of the traffic lights,” Audi Germany technology and innovation spokesman Tim Frozek said.
”We transfer that information into graphics on the driver information display and on one hand we have the possibility to let the driver know how long the red phase of the traffic light will last, and the other option is to show the driver the certain speed they should use for reaching the next green light.”
When Fairfax Media sampled the system this week in peak-hour Berlin traffic, the technology took the frustration away from hitting consecutive red lights.
In Australia, Roads and Maritime Services says it would support the concept, believing it could encourage a better traffic flow and less inner-city emissions triggered by on-again, off-again movements.
A spokeswoman for the RMS said the system could help ease Sydney’s congested peak-hour commutes.
”The centre for safety is interested in trialling smart technology,” she said.
Audi has received strong interest in the technology, and BMW is also trialling a similar program for its next fleet of vehicles.
”One of the main advantages is that you don’t need to update the infrastructure: we just get the data from where it is handled [the central computer] and we utilise a conventional sim card in the car,” Mr Frozek said.
Sydney’s populated inner-city traffic light system would be compatible for Audi’s traffic-light technology, the RMS said.
The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Hangzhou Night Net.