Audi: Predictive traffic light tech ready for production

Audi is looking to make driving a little easier and a lot more efficient.

Endlessly waiting at red lights may soon be a thing of the past thanks to Audi's Online traffic light information system. The German automaker says its traffic light system is fully developed and ready to be implemented in a production vehicle.

First unveiled at this year's CES in Las Vegas, Audi announced on Monday that its traffic light recognition system is now ready for prime time. The German automaker says the system could boost fuel economy while slashing CO2 emission by 15 percent.

The system works by connected a city's traffic light network with the vehicle's onboard computer. Via that wireless connection, the vehicle can determine the exact speed need to reach the next traffic light while it's green, reducing time spent idling - and wasting fuel - at red lights. When you inevitably do find yourself stuck at a red light, the systems counts down the time until the light is scheduled to go green.

Traffic light information is displayed to the driver on an LCD screen located in the instrument cluster.

More than just a stress reducer for the morning commute, Audi claims the technology could cut CO2 emission by 15 percent and save millions of gallons of wasted fuel.

Audi says the system is "now production ready and could be fitted to every Audi model in the range,” but the automaker is still waiting for government approval. Audi has successfully conducted real-world tests of the technology in Las Vegas, Italy and Germany.

Because of that regulatory uncertainty, Audi's doesn't have a specific timeframe for when the traffic light tech might reach a production vehicle, but look for the feature to arrive in showrooms within the next few years.

Other automakers, including Volvo, are also experimenting with traffic light predicting systems.

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