The all-new 4th generation SEAT Leon can talk to traffic lights, equipped with the latest V2I (Vehicle to Infrastructure) technology its able to communicate with infrastructure equipped with the latest tech.
SEAT had been testing the technology in a prototype Leon model in Barcelona. The new tech could potentially help traffic flow, increase safety and save motorists money by reducing the amount of time you are sat at traffic lights in the future.
The new system utilises data, which identifies the traffic lights by pinpointing the exact location using GPS and cross-referencing information which tells the car/driver exactly when the lights will be on red, amber or green. The system also knows the exact timings involved between each change of colour and the information can then be relayed to drivers via dashboard instrument panels, infotainment screens and potentially a voice notification.
The system takes into account the speed your vehicle is travelling at/its distance from the lights and helps the driver decide if they need to speed up (within acceptable limits of course) or slow down as they approach the lights to avoid being stationary at a red light.
This new technology also has some very useful safety benefits. Firstly, motorists can avoid last minute braking if they are taken by surprise when traffic lights change to red. Obviously this means less chance of a rear impact from a ‘surprised’ driver behind you. Secondly, the tech could also prevent motorists going through a just changed red light ‘late’ avoiding a potentially catastrophic accident.
Considering the potential £100 fine and 3 points for going through a red light (or 6 points and a £1000 fine for failing to respond to a penalty notice) the technology could be a very useful addition to the increasing arsenal of driver aids and safety features pushing us closer to full autonomous driving.
The technology known as V2I (Vehicle to Infrastructure), whilst the systems are referred to collectively as ‘Co-operative Intelligent Transport Systems' or C-ITS for short. The tech can facilitate two-way communication between equipped vehicles and their surrounding environment (not just traffic lights).
We will see more of this type of technology in play on UK motorways and major roads in the coming years as cars become more hi-tech and offer increased levels of autonomous driving.
SEAT are showcasing the all-new 4th generation Leon at the 2020 Geneva Motor Show with a strong emphasis on new safety and driver aids and interior tech upgrades.