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City of Olathe enables smart traffic light technology

Post Date:05/14/2018

The City of Olathe is continuing its efforts to become a “Smart City” by working with Audi of America and Traffic Technology Services, Inc. (TTS) to enable the “time-to-green” feature in select 2017 or newer Audi models. Olathe is the first city in the Kansas City Metro to use this vehicle-to-infrastructure technology.

This Traffic Light Information (TLI) technology allows cars to communicate with traffic signals, informing the driver of approximately how much time remains before the light turns green. The hope is that additional vehicle manufactures will use this technology in the future, making it more accessible to commuters.

As a car approaches a traffic signal, real-time information regarding signal times is sent to the car via 4G LTE data. The car then informs the driver of the “time-to-green” in either the instrument cluster or on the heads-up display in the vehicle. This “time-to-green” information may help reduce stress by informing the driver of approximately how much time remains before the light turns green.

 “Being on the cutting edge of innovative technology is something that the City of Olathe values,” said Mary Jaeger, Public Works Director. “We already use road sensors to help manage traffic flow, but this smart technology will further improve our traffic flow management efforts.”

TTS says that there may be even more benefits to the technology beyond the “time-to-green” feature. Some use cases like recommending speeds to avoid stopping can provide direct end user benefits like a 15% reduction in fuel consumption.

In 2016, Traffic Light Information technology was launched in Las Vegas, Nevada. The service is also available in the Dallas, San Francisco, Houston, Denver, Washington D.C., and Phoenix areas. Over 1,600 intersections across the U.S. support Traffic Light Information technology.
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