The only thing more annoying than having to obey the speed limit when driving is having to frequently stop at red lights. So in an attempt to become the world's cleverest automaker, Audi has created a new in-dash system that tells you how fast or slow you need to drive in order to hit as many green lights as possible.
Demoed in and around Las Vegas at CES this week, the Smart City Traffic Light Assistance system relies on local data sources about traffic light patterns and timing (beamed to your vehicle over Wi-Fi) instead of a camera scanning the horizon for upcoming stop lights.
Using this data, and the speed and heading of your vehicle, the system provides a countdown timer of when the next traffic light will change to green, letting you adjust your speed accordingly so that you hopefully don't have to come to a full stop. The system—which is currently being tested in Germany and Italy—can also automatically stop and start your vehicle when waiting at a light to conserve fuel or battery life.
Naturally one of the biggest potential stumbling blocks for a this technology is being able to access enough reliable traffic light data, from cities all over the globe, to make it possible. If any company has the brains to make it happen it is the one with the slogan "advancement through technology". [Audi via Autoblog]