LAS VEGAS -- Drivers in Las Vegas have access to a new type of smart city technology that allows traffic lights to communicate with cars so you know when the light is going to turn green.
Las Vegas is betting big on new technology to make their streets smarter. It’s called Vehicle to Infrastructure and it is the first city in the United States to go live with it.
Already, Audi is taking advantage of the Smart City feature and building it into their new cars. The company recently brought me to Las Vegas to check it out.
Here’s how it works – when you approach a traffic light on a Las Vegas area street, you get a little countdown timer in your dashboard. This number lets you know how long until the light is going to turn green.
The Traffic Light Information is part of Audi’s Connect PRIME subscription service, available in select 2017 Audi A4, Q7 and allroad models.
It sounds like a small step – and it is – but it is an important one. It’s just the beginning of a world where cars talk to their surroundings for better traffic flow, less accidents and more informed drivers.
So what’s it like to have this information pop up in your dashboard? Pretty cool. I found myself much more relaxed when I was stopped at a light since I knew exactly when it was going to turn green. In Las Vegas light cycles are pretty long so I could rest easy at reds.
“As soon as you know that information, you get this little overwhelming sense of calm. We call it a micro-break so to speak,” said Audi USA’s Justin Goduto.
The data system is managed by the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada. Audi is the first to take advantage of the new technology but any car manufacturer can built it into their dashboards.
In the future the system might even be able to tell drivers how fast they need to go along a stretch of road so they hit the maximum number of green lights. Now that’s technology being put to good use.