Robert J. Kinder, Jr., BSME, Automotive/Mechanical Engineer ::::
As automakers race to produce autonomous vehicles, the need for improved vehicle infrastructure integration is evident. The integration provides a direct link between vehicles and their physical surroundings, effectively creating a network. For example, picture an autonomous vehicle traveling down a roadway and suddenly it approaches a construction zone warranting a temporary reduction in vehicle speed. Communication between the vehicle and a digital road sign or other electronic device can provide information to the vehicle prompting it to slow down. The autonomous vehicle could then remain law abiding and avoid potential hazards.
Audi has made a large step towards integrating vehicles with their surroundings. Starting in 2017, Audi will release models with the technology to display a red light timer in select cities. As the vehicle approaches a red light, a timer is displayed in the instrument cluster indicating how many seconds until the light in their direction of travel changes to green. Audi is bridging the gap in vehicle to roadway communications and paving the way for additional information to be broadcasted to vehicles. Although the effects may not be immediately noticeable, red light timers are expected to increase traffic flow. Drivers often reduce speeds anticipating that a traffic signal will remain red, then the signal changes to green and the speed reduction was unnecessary. The theory is such that if enough vehicles have this technology, traffic flow would increase in areas containing multiple traffic signals.
For additional information, contact Robert J. Kinder, Jr., Mechanical Engineer with DJS Associates, at experts@forensicDJS.com or by phone at 215-659-2010 ext. 27.