Today the Internet of Things (IoT) is connecting a vast array of new devices to the web, and produces mountains of data that designers, manufacturers and consumers can use to improve their products’ experience. But the big secret about the IoT isn’t how devices can communicate with people—it’s how they can now communicate with one another.
A great example of this inter-device communication is the ability of new Audi vehicles to communicate with traffic lights in Las Vegas, telling them how much longer the driver will need to wait at the intersection before proceeding.
Vehicle to Infrastructure: V2I
The Audi side of this new technology was first revealed by Road & Track in August. They call it Vehicle to Infrastructure (V2I), and you can let your imagination run wild with the possibilities inherent in that phrase. Think about a connected runway updating an aircraft’s crew on its own conditions in real time. Or a parking lot that can tell your self-parking Volvo (see the video below) which spaces are open before you arrive at the store. With the knowledge of which spots are open, your can plan its parking while dropping you off at the door.
Las Vegas First to Implement V2I
Las Vegas has now become the first city in America to put V2I into practice in the real world. This particular system is called the Traffic Light Information system (TLI), and Audi has it enabled on select A4, Q7 and allroad® models. Audi explains the experience like this:
When approaching 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 equipped). Providing the driver with 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 “time-to-green” feature will be the first feature to leverage the Audi Traffic Light Information service. In the future, it may be possible to integrate information from these advanced traffic management systems into vehicle start/stop features, navigation systems to optimize routing, and predictive services such as presenting the driver with a speed recommendation designed to maximize the number of green lights one can make in sequence. All of these services would be designed to either improve efficiency, drive time or traffic management.
Vehicle to Infrastructure Deployment Coalition
The Department of Transportation is looking ahead to this connected vehicle future and planning accordingly. There’s a major study underway called the Connected Vehicle Pooled Fund Study, and aims to “support the development and deployment of connected vehicle applications.” The program has already created a report on best practices for the technology, and has completed field tests of a “multi-modal intelligent traffic signal system.” The DOT has also organized the creation of an industry group called the Vehicle to Infrastructure Deployment Coalition, to bring together the various industry, government and engineer stakeholders.
This rapidly advancing technology has the ability to fundamentally change the transportation industry. Technological advances like these can create massive profits and wealth for those who take advantage of them. At Young Research & Publishing we track market changing trends in technology and advise readers of Richard C. Young’s Intelligence Report, and our exclusive research client—Barron’s Top 100 investment advisory firm, Richard C. Young & Co., Ltd. (sign up here for the firm’s client letter, free even for non-clients)—on the best course of action to take to maximize returns and minimize risks. You too can benefit from our research by subscribing to Portfolio Strategy, the free weekly roundup of our analysis.