Audi USA has announced it will launch Traffic Light Information, a Vehicle-to-Infrastructure (V2I) technology in Las Vegas, Nevada, making it the first automaker to put it into public use. It will be available on select 2017 Audi A4, Q7 & allroad models, and be offered to customers with a subscription to the Audi Connect Prime telematics system from December this year.

So, what is V2I? Put simply, the car “talks” to surrounding infrastructure, which in this case are traffic lights, obtaining relevant before displaying it to the driver. On the aforementioned Audi models, the information is relayed in real-time from the Las Vegas traffic management system that monitors traffic lights to the car via its on-board 4G LTE data connection.

In practice, as you approach a connected traffic light, Traffic Light Information displays the time remaining until the signal changes to green in the driver instrument cluster, as well as the head-up-display (if the car is equipped with one). According to Audi, “this additional information helps reduce stress and allows the driver to relax knowing approximately how much time remains before the changing of the light.”

This feature is merely an introduction to what V2I is capable of, as it may be possible to integrate the car’s other systems (start/stop, navigation and predictive services) to improve the driving experience in several aspects – efficiency, drive time or traffic management. Looking further ahead, autonomous driving systems will likely tap into the technology as well, for improved routing.

“V2I applications and services like Traffic Light Information are essential components as we continue to move toward an autonomous future. We applaud the innovative approach of Las Vegas in working with us on V2I as well as on our various piloted driving demonstrations over the past years,” said Audi USA president, Scott Keogh.