Audi’s New Technology Is the Beginning of the End of Traffic Lights

Audi has announced it is rolling out a feature in some of its new vehicles that allows them to communicate with traffic lights. It’s a neat trick that customers might like: they can watch as a timer counts down until a red light turns green, or the system can warn drivers approaching a green light that it’s going to change, and advise them to start braking. It’s more than just a gimmick, though. The death of traffic lights has been predicted for some time, and Audi’s move is the first sign that their decline might come quickly. Traffic lights are an imperfect solution for an imperfect world. We human drivers are forced to sit at red lights while a lane of crossing traffic gets the green, then another gets a left turn arrow, and then, finally, we can be on our way. It’s bad for congestion on the roads, the pollution from all those idling engines adds up, and in the era of the smartphone there’s no guarantee that someone in front of you will actually go when the light turns green.”

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