Audi debuts industry-first traffic light countdown

DETROIT – Audi is introducing an industry-first system that tells drivers how long it will take for a traffic light to change from red to green.

The system wirelessly links vehicles to traffic-management computers in certain U.S. cities. Audi is finalizing contracts and says it will announce the cities soon.

Drivers see the countdown in the instrument cluster. Once four seconds are left before the traffic light turns green, the counter stops so drivers will look up.

If the system thinks a driver won’t make it through a green light, it will also start counting down as if the light were red.

The system is available on the 2017 Q7 SUV and A4 sedan built after June 1. Drivers must opt for the Connect Prime service, which costs $199 for 6 months.