Gear and Tech : January 30, 2009
Audi is working on a new technology called “Travolution” which allows for drivers to tell when the stoplight will change. Think of all the times you are rolling up quickly on a stoplight trying to decide whether or not the light will turn red by the time you get there. Thanks to Audi’s Travolution system, you’ll be able tell exactly what speed you need to go in order to hit all the green lights in sequence.
Audi has spent the past two years developing this technology, and test trials just ended on the streets of Audi’s home town, Ingolstadt, Germany. The Travolution system was tested at 46 traffic lights equipped with a communications module. The communications module sent the time for the next green-light phase to the car’s on-board computer, which then informed the driver of exactly what speed they should travel to drive through the intersection without stopping.
I understand the concept of this technology, but I can’t imagine that it would do very well. For one, all the stoplights in America would have to be outfitted with a communications module. What would you do if you were rolling up on a stoplight and someone blew a redlight going across traffic? Another disadvantage to this system is only specific model Audi owners would reap the benefits, which I imagine isn’t very cost-effective. Perhaps Audi will make it worth their while, but for being such a large project, I see lots of red lights in sight.