Audi unveils new tech to ride "wave" of green lights

February 19, 2019

Ask many commuters around downtown Denver and they'll acknowledge that catching the "South Broadway wave" is great, but it has nothing to do with the landlocked state's surf scene.

That's because Denver's timed traffic lights along the major thoroughfare generally expedite traffic leaving downtown toward the southern neighborhoods and suburbs.

On Tuesday, Audi announced an initiative that could make riding the "wave" easier to catch in Denver and beyond. The automaker announced it would add Denver; White Plains, New York; Gainesville and Orlando, Florida, to its list of cities with stoplights that could alert drivers to how long they could expect to be stopped at an intersection. The system is already in place in cities such as Dallas, Houston, Kansas City, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, New York City, Phoenix, San Francisco, Washington, D.C, and Portland, Oregon, in more than 4,700 intersections.

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A supplemental system in those cities could alert drivers to drive at certain speeds to catch "waves" of green lights to make commuting quicker and less stressful. The system, which is called Green Light Optimized Speed Advisory, displays in the compatible cars a recommended speed that drivers could keep to catch green lights at upcoming intersections. Audi said the system would be available in participating cities, but didn't say if drivers needed to turn on certain software or enable a feature in connected cars.

The Audi cars available with the system include certain model year 2017 or newer cars, including the 2019 Audi A8, A7, Q8, and top trims of the Audi A6. Other cars may be compatible with the system, but owners should check with dealers to ensure compatibility.

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Connected cars display a recommended speed in the instrument cluster to maintain for drivers to catch green lights, or how soon a light might turn red. If a driver is stopped at a red light, the traffic light information system will count down for the driver how long he or she has until the light turns green again.

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