Dear Audi, please make this system come true! It is a project piloted by Audi that lets drivers know exactly how long before a traffic light changes. We can’t see this being put into production though. Just think of all those drivers that will speed up to make the intersection before the red light and more people blowing through the intersection in anticipation of the light turning green. This concept is a recipe for disaster but according to Audi’s press release, the system is meant to prevent “frustrating, fuel-sapping stops at red traffic lights.” After all, the last thing you want to see when you’re driving your brand-new Audi R8 is a red light! Heaven forbid!
Dubbed Travolution, the project depends on communications modules built into traffic lights. Those modules transmit signals to the Audi Multi Media Interface (MMI) which, in turn, shows the driver whether he or she is able to proceed safely and if so, what speed he or she must maintain in order to make it through before the light turns red. Even better, if there’s no oncoming traffic, Audi cars can make the light turn green!!!
Travolution from Audi is a refreshing escape that makes driving more efficient and more fun….but more dangerous for pedestrians of course which unfortunately why we are sure we will never see this system put into production.
Audi’s press release contends that Travolution “could also dramatically reduce the number of actual stops needed by creating a communications link between cars and the traffic light network.” In other words, a Travolution-equipped traffic light could in real time sense how many cars are waiting to turn at each branch of an intersection and adjust its signal accordingly. Genius!
We like the added safety benefit of the dashboard speed guide for when you don’t know whether it’d be safer to slow down or speed up for a yellow light. Slam on the brakes, and you’ll waste gas and risk being hit from behind (42 percent of signalized accidents). Speed up, and you’ll risk a traffic ticket or a side-on collision (28 percent of signalized accidents). Traffic engineers refer to this phenomenon as “the dilemma zone.” This writer refers to it as, “Sorry, officer, I thought it was going to stay yellow for longer.”
Sadly, the project is only an experiment in Audi’s home city, so we will have to rely on the old trick our driving instructor taught us “The yellow light should hold for as many seconds as the leading digit of the speed limit of the road”. After all, if Travolution catches on, that excuse won’t hold up in court.